TOTAL NUMBER OF BUSINESSES IN THE U.S.: 30,437,428 (TOTAL)
NUMBER OF SINGLE-PERSON BUSINESSES IN THE U.S.: 19,850,941 (65.2%)
This is a very basic discussion of some real world U.S. statistics that may imply that the majority of private sector small businesses have time or money constraints that adversely impact preparedness. All statistics used below come from U.S. Government agencies such as weather subject matter expert reports, crime experts, Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor and Statistics), the Census Bureau, and the Small Business Administration (who base many of their numbers off of Tax return data).
A USCSRH member posted a wise comment: “For NIMS to function effectively, jurisdictions and organizations should set expectations about the capabilities and resources that will be provided before, during, and after an incident.” (Credited to “mjcyranwd6alm,” I agree with the comment).
QUESTION TO THE READER:
Does business size and/or revenue impact the ability to implement preparedness capabilities and resources before, during, and after an incident?
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING POTENTIAL BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS BARRIERS:
Time and money constraints may impact or pose BARRIERS for certain private sector small businesses to fulfill certain preparedness obligations (before, during, and after an incident). The private sector businesses most likely to be impacted are:
1. Sole-proprietorships and other businesses that are composed of a single person.
=> As of 2013 there are 19,850,941 Sole-proprietorships businesses in the U.S.
2. Businesses with revenue less than $50,000 per year (before overhead is deducted).
=>As of 2013 there are12,669,671 U.S. businesses making less than $50,000 per year.
FINANCIAL BARRIER (EXPANDED):
Regarding “Non-employer Firms/businesses,” these are businesses that do not employ additional people, are usually composed of one person (e.g. Farmers, Real Estate, Writers, Artists, Cleaners, Contractors, Consultants, Doctors, lawyers, hair stylists, photographers, Lawn and Garden, Financial advisers etc.), and make $1,000 or more per year.
=>STATISTICS OF INTEREST: In 2013 there were 23,005,620 Non-employment businesses, and the average annual revenue generated per business was $44,000 dollars (before costs and overhead), therefore, their profit margin is low. The majority of the “Non-employment businesses” are the individuals from the Sole-proprietors group.
BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS IMPACT ASSUMPTIONS:
Businesses that are sole-proprietorships may be functioning as “typical laymen individuals” (from a preparedness point of view), with the exception of potentially carrying additional insurance as needed. In sole-proprietorships, there are many circumstances whereby revenue is a direct function of engaging in the (primary revenue generating work activity) and any other activity undertaken for some other purpose (such as preparedness) looses time and money. After paying overhead, rent, and supporting themselves, businesses that make less than $50,000 per year will not have money left over for “Capabilities” or “Resources,” and can not support anything other than free preparedness options, and may additionally only be interested in the preparedness options that take the least time to manage (see Reference Business Annual Cost of Federal Regulations by Firm Size).
We all know that (the right) safety precautions and actions, taken to be prepared, can (SAVE) time and money in the long run too. Additionally, if a sole-proprietor of a business was an (e.g. former U.S. Secret Service, former Fire Chief, Former Police Chief, former MEP or other preparedness expert from DHS, FEMA, or DOD etc.) they would likely be able to protect themselves in all hazards, and additionally:
1. Have a good idea of what capabilities and resources they can provide before, during, and after an incident.
2. Know how to protect occupants, and implement COOP options.
3. Know how to improvise and direct or coordinate a large group of individuals during an incident to optimize the outcome, save life, decrease destruction.
---------------------------STATISTICS FOR THE READERS CONSIDERATION----------------------------
U.S. BUSINESS BASELINE:
2013 U.S. business baseline statistics of interest: (U.S. business totals)
=>DATA SOURCE: http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/
=>STATS OF INTEREST: Total number of businesses in the U.S. is 30,437,428 with (7,431,808) of the total number of U.S. businesses currently employing 116 million people (see other business types below).
2013 “NONEMPLOYMENT BUSINESSES”: (% = out of 100 percent of all U.S. businesses)
Below, out of the 30,437,428 total U.S. businesses, are the ones most likely to be impacted by preparedness constraints.
All “non-employment” businesses: 23,005,620 (75.6%)
=>Sole-proprietorships: 19,850,941 (65.2%)
……Home-based businesses: 15,827,462 (52.0%)
=>Partnerships: 1,714,158 (5.6%)
=>Corporations: 1,440,521 (4.7%)
……Farms: (may or may not employ) 2,200,000 (7.2%)
2013 EMPLOYER BUSINESSES:
Below, out of the 30,437,428 total U.S. businesses, are the businesses (less likely) to be impacted by preparedness constraints.
All “Employer” business: 7,431,808 (24.4%)
=>Corporations: 5,935298 (19.5%)
=>Franchise: 608,748 (2.0%)
BUSINESS THREAT PREPAREDNESS (STATISTICS DEMONSTRATE AN IMPERATIVE):
=>Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 12,196,959 arrests in 2012.
Note: Data among the 12,196,959 arrests does NOT contain citations for traffic violations
=>Of these arrests, 521,196 were for violent crimes, and 1,646,212 were for property crimes (potentially pertinent to Businesses).
=>Among the highest number of arrests were: drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,552,432 arrests), driving under the influence (estimated at 1,282,957), and larceny-theft (estimated at 1,282,352) WHICH MAY ALSO BE IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS OWNERS TO KNOW (IF) THESE WERE THEIR EMPLOYEES BEING ARRESTED FOR SAID CRIMES (See Table 29. for further crime stats).
CRIMES RELATED TO BUSINESS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS:
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 the number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7% to 24,361 from 22,848 in FY 2012. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the goods had they been genuine, is $1,743,515,581 in losses.
BUSINESS DISASTER PREPAREDNESS (STATISTICS DEMONSTRATE AN IMPERATIVE):
In 2013, there were 1,240,000 fires reported in the United States.
Floods are the #1 natural disasters in the United States and cause 2.4 billion in damages annually. See links below for estimates of crop damage, and other stats related to the hundreds of thousands of assets damaged annually.
Within the last decade, the U.S. has averaged ~4,000 earthquakes annually (generally in the 2-5 magnitude range).
U.S. POWER OUTAGES:
Hurricane Sandy caused >8 million power outages. Businesses require back-up power supplies and/or generators to handle power issues. Severe weather is the single leading cause of power outages in the United States. Outages caused by severe weather such as thunderstorms, hurricanes and blizzards account for 58 percent of outages observed since 2002.
=> DATA SOURCE: (The 2013 official Dept of Energy ELECTRIC GRID resiliency report)
This information is not all inclusive, and meant to be “food for thought” rather than concrete analysis regarding preparedness constraints involving single-person businesses or businesses with revenue less than $50,000 annually. This discussion implies that the potential for preparedness barriers could impact >20 Million businesses. Currently there are 19,850,941 Sole-proprietor U.S. Businesses (that may contain very few former preparedness experts), and may suffer from time or money constraints that may adversely impact their ability to engage in adequate preparedness activities. Additional unknown constraints may exist among the larger parent group of (28 Million Small Businesses in the U.S.) not addressed at this time. Available evidence demonstrating that said businesses suffer preparedness issues was never found (perhaps no studies have been conducted). Yet, most would agree that preparedness (expends time and money), which are very limited in single owner businesses or businesses with revenue less that $50,000 annually, and therefore one might assume that certain Financial Statistics as well as “Non-employer Status,” are likely to be predictive of (the ability of an organization to exhibit full preparedness functions and COOP procedures before, during, and after an incident). The above concession and statistics should demonstrate that VAST THREATS AND HAZARDS ARE A FACT OF LIFE FOR MOST BUSINESSES IN THE U.S. As far as I know, the solution has always been to ensure that businesses (and the public) are “conscientious and safety oriented,” and have adequate opportunities to pursue education, training and practice, related to preparedness requirements most pertinent to them. Discussions such as (this topic) always seem to get back to the same question of how to motivate everyone to improve incrementally a little more each year (with businesses helping to protect the public and preparing as much as possible/feasible). The question also becomes (to what degree) do they prepare, and (who) should additionally learn (what) skill on top of their own business niche? Hmmm lets see, well if everyone is on the lookout for suspicious activity, children near roads, and homeless people in the winter time, stranded disabled people and pets (and is willing to report it or help), and gas stations / parks / camp grounds will hand out fire safety fliers, and transit managers identify substance abuse, dereliction, mental or physical illness in their employees, and the postal workers learn how to respond to active shooter scenarios and powder in envelopes, and doctors insist more people with the Flu stay home and wear a mask and/or isolate themselves from the public, and TSA learns to perfectly identify foreign infectious disease, and if oil companies get better at identifying equipment that could ignite or rupture, and if CO2 detectors were mandatory in every state, if fireworks were more carefully monitored during times when there is no holiday, if asbestos and lead paint was removed for free, and all places of worship learn how to shelter in place, and the construction/builders spend time disassembling hazards in and around their neighborhood, and grade-school teachers integrated preparedness topics more often into each day’s lectures, and all restaurant employees learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, and everyone who swims regularly learns how to do CPR, and drone hobbyists learn aerial search functions, and all banks would buy the best alarm system possible, and no private-sector business would violate trade secrets or conduct damaging import/export or other activities as a proxy on behalf of our U.S. adversaries, and the flower shop employees learn how to identify stalkers, and the night shift security could stay awake to monitor the surveillance system 100% of the time, and the golf course caddy learns to identify the signs & symptoms of heat stroke and/or a heart attack, and bar tenders count the number of drinks their patrons have and ask for their keys at a certain threshold, and farmers learn about biological contamination vectors and better flood controls, and engineers learn to more effectively build fire proof, hurricane proof, earthquake proof buildings cheaply, and cooks learn to identify all poison vectors, and all owners of a websites or networks are responsible to ensure (cyber-security) and that nothing illegal is transmitted via their infrastructure, and power companies upgraded to EMP proof and outage proof multi-redundancy energy infrastructure cheaply, and no one pumps sewage or trash into our water sources, and the insurance agencies offered (lower-premiums) on Special endemic geological hazards or weather-disasters, and our borders were adequately secured, and the public would let the government adequately conduct criminal activity screening so that we could prevent MORE of the >2 million violent or property damage crimes that happen each year, and if we could detect gigantic near-earth space objects before they nearly hit us, and…Well, this above improvements list exercise of “who ought to do what” with statistics (is not prioritized and is a drop in the bucket of improvements to be made) but informs us that there are many threats and hazards around us, and we should all do our best to learn core preparedness topics (perhaps as a mandatory High School program with plans and kits), then learn additional specific local preparedness topics, then add on special topics of interest for business owners and all those who desire to continue their education. Solutions to small business problems exist (as discussed in the ISO9001 topic referenced below), businesses can engage in a variety of improvements, events, opportunities, and form collaborative networks with other local businesses to support one another in a variety of ways that will compensate for lack of personnel and budgetary constraints (see said topic for details).
This topic is also being evaluated at FEMA IdeaScale here:
This topic is also available at FEMA National Preparedness Community here:
--------------RELATED BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS TOPICS FOR THE READER-------------
OVERVIEW OF WHOLE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS ROLES
The USCSRH Business Continuity and Preparedness Resource List
A New Approach to Emergency Operations Plan Partnerships
FLOOD MANAGEMENT - CONTAMINATION OVERVIEW
PRIORITY TERRORIST ATTACK MITIGATION REFERENCE MANUALS
Steps to Building a Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN PREPAREDNESS DIGITAL REFERENCE LIBRARY
ISO9001 2015 NEW QMS Framework, Requirements, and Implications
PRIMARY SOURCES OF BUSINESS STATISTICS:
DEFINITION OF A SMALL BUSINESS: Title 13, Part 121 of the Code of Federal Regulations sets forth in detail the criteria to be used by the SBA in making small business determinations.
DEFINITION OF NONEMPLOYER BUSINESSES:
2012 SMALL BUSINESS FAQ’S:
BUSINESS ANNUAL COST OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS BY FIRM SIZE:
U.S. ANNUAL TORNADOES:
----------------OTHER INTERESTING STATISTICS: (FROM SBA 2012 FAQ)-----------------
Small businesses make up: (<500 employees and other criteria)
=> 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms
=> 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs
=> 49.2 percent of private-sector employment
=> 42.9 percent of private-sector payroll
=> 46 percent of private-sector output
=> 43 percent of high-tech employment
=> 98 percent of firms exporting goods
TOP 10 U.S. EMPLOYERS (2013):
1. Walmart total employees: 2.2 million
2. Yum! Brands total employees: 523,000
3. McDonald's total employees: 440,000
4. IBM total employees: 434,246
5. United Parcel Service total employees: 399,000
6. Target total employees: 361,000
7. Kroger total employees: 343,000
8. Home Depot total employees: 340,000
9. Hewlett-Packard total employees: 331,800
10. General Electric total employees: 305,000