Small Business

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Learn the essentials of starting, growing, and managing a small business in this guide.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Is the Small Business Association?

    The Small Business Association (SBA) is an agency established in 1953 by the U.S. government that provides various types of assistance to American small businesses. The SBA helps small businesses by providing access to capital and low-cost training, providing government contracts to qualified small businesses, and advocating for small businesses by reviewing legislation. 

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA launched the PPP program, which provided forgivable SBA loans to thousands of small businesses whose operations were impacted by the pandemic.

  • What is a product life cycle?

    A product life cycle is the amount of time a product goes from being introduced into the market until it's taken off the shelves. Understanding a product’s life cycle helps businesses make decisions regarding a product’s pricing and promotion, as well as whether to expand or cut a product. There are four general stages of a product’s life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Business owners track each of these stages carefully in order to find opportunities to gain competitive advantage over their peers.

  • What is the gig economy?

    The term gig economy is used to describe a labor market in which temporary or part-time jobs are commonplace. In a gig economy, companies tend to hire independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time employees. While the positions available in a gig economy can provide workers with more flexibility than full-time, salaried roles, many commentators claim the transient, generally lower-paying jobs in a gig economy can hurt a worker’s longevity and overall satisfaction.

  • What is the Walmart effect?

    The Walmart effect refers to the loss in revenue and foot traffic that can hit smaller businesses once a Walmart opens in their area. A retailer the size of Walmart has the ability to dictate the price it pays to wholesalers at a magnitude which smaller companies cannot. As a result, Walmart is able to sell merchandise at a much lower price than its competitors in the area. When a Walmart opens the lower prices, and wider selection of merchandise draws customers away from smaller, local businesses.

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