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Surviving the Economic Crisis

Cathy Christensen January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
silhouettes pulling dollar sign back from edge of cliff

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The beginning of a new year should be a time to wipe the slate clean and start anew. However, the 2009 U.S. economy can’t help but be saddled with the baggage of a weathered and worn 2008, a year that brought a new president, a recession, and a new focus on the impacts and woes of small businesses nationwide.

The vast majority of the 14,615 spas1 that make up the spa industry in the United States are owned by entrepreneurs, making it a vibrant segment of the U.S. small business community. Although this entrepreneurship is what makes the profession so unique and personal, it is also what is causing the industry to fall victim to the turmoil caused by the recent economic downturn and credit crunch.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, a small business is an independent business that employs fewer than 500 employees, and small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms in the country.2 (See Facts About Small Business.) Because of this enormous reach, small businesses may also be the ones hurt most during the recession. In fact, approximately 25,000 of the 157,000 jobs cut in October 2008 were from small businesses.3

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Facts About Small Business

Small businesses:

Represent 99.7% of all employer firms.

Employ about half of all private sector employees.

Pay nearly 45% of total U.S. private payroll.

Have generated 60–80% of new jobs annually during the past decade.

Are 52% home-based and 2% franchises.

  • In 2007, there were 27.2 million businesses in the United States.
  • Two-thirds of new employer establishments survive at least two years, 44% survive at least four years and 31% survive at least seven years.
  • Commercial banks and other depository institutions are the largest lenders of debt capital to small businesses.

—From the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy

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