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Small Business Isn’t So Small

Whether we realize it or not, globalization affects every single part of our lives, from our morning latte to our late-night snack, and virtually every product and service we use in between.

Over the past decade, thanks mostly to advances in technology, we’ve seen globalization really change the nature of small business, which now commonly engages in all facets of international activity including commerce, investment and travel. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and Small Business Administration, there are more than 300,000 corporations involved in the export of goods or services. More than 97% of these are small businesses that conduct 30% of all exports flowing from the U.S.

People may not realize the importance of American small businesses to the overall health of the global economy.

Consider that international trade as a whole represents approximately 27% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) output according the World Bank. And then, factor in that the U.S. is the world’s largest contributor to economic output, representing approximately 25% of global GDP.

In this context, we can see that small U.S. exporters and importers are making a serious contribution to the world.

I’m explaining this because it’s easy to underestimate the needs of small businesses, thinking them to be simpler or more local than they really are.

The reality is they have the same need for ‘wherever, whenever’ online banking services as their multinational counterparts. They gravitate to financial institutions that get this, and that also recognize their need for international services.

It’s our job at Western Union to help you be at the front of the pack when it comes to international payment services. And we’ve been tracking the evolving needs of small businesses closely so we can help you keep pace, and even help improve your market position within this segment.

We know small businesses are integral to your institution, and that’s why we’ve made sure our web-based global payments network is suited for companies of every size.

If your small business clients don’t already have access to online and mobile cross-border payments, we can help you take the next step in meeting their needs.

By Stephen Kuhl, CFA