Broadband can provide significant benefits to the next generation of American entrepreneurs and small businesses—the engines of job creation and economic growth for the country.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)—businesses with fewer than 500 employees—employ more than half of America's private sector workers and create roughly 64% of net new private sector jobs each year.
However, many small businesses have a knowledge gap about how best to utilize broadband tools, leaving potential productivity gains unrealized.
The benefits of broadband for small businesses include:
- Increased market access ability to compete globally
- Increased sales and marketing effectiveness
- More efficient ways to service customers
- Reduced communications costs
- Reduced operational costs
- Increased speed of access to knowledge
- Increase opportunities for online businesses
Though private sector, options exist for training and educating small businesses, however those options are currently insufficient.
Recommendations for advancing broadband use for small business include:
- Integrate broadband assessment and planning into economic development efforts to understand needs and gaps for small businesses.
- Provide an online platform to expand opportunities for job training and placement.
- Support broadband choice and small businesses' use of broadband services and applications to drive job creation, growth and productivity gains.
- Targeted government support, the EDA and non-government associations can help small businesses achieve an optimum level of broadband use by building awareness of available resources, the broadband tools and training to small business.