California Honors Small Businesses This May

May is Small Business Month, a time to recognize the tremendous contributions of our small businesses.

CalChamber Small Business Advocacy

In October 2023, the California Chamber of Commerce announced the creation of the Small Business Policy Center, a new effort focused on mobilizing the power of small businesses in grassroots advocacy at the State Capitol.

The center is headed by Nick Ortiz, vice president of small business advocacy, who works with local chambers of commerce up and down the state, as well as the Small Business Policy Council, to make sure the needs and concerns of small businesses are at the forefront of legislative discussions.

State Statistics

California is home to more small businesses than any other state. More than 4.1 million small businesses operate in the Golden State, creating two-thirds of net new jobs, building wealth, innovating to solve global problems, launching future growth industries, and defining main streets across California’s local communities.

Small businesses also account for more than 98% of total businesses in the state and employ more than 7 million people—nearly half of the state’s private sector workforce.

California leads the nation in business startups, and businesses receive more than 50% of the nation’s venture capital with more than $104 billion invested in California in 2022.

California businesses produce more patents per capita and conduct more research and development than any other state in the nation. The state is the center of manufacturing output in the U.S., with more than 1.2 million Californians employed in this space.

California’s manufacturing firms have created new industries and supplied the world with manufactured goods spanning aerospace, computers, electronics, and zero-emission vehicles.

How California Is Helping Small Business

California has received more than $1.1 billion in funds for its existing capital support programs from the U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Separately, the Treasury Department granted $26.3 million to California to launch a new Technical Assistance for Capital Readiness Program. California has been approved to receive more federal investment through SSBCI than any other state.

The Small Business Technical Assistance Program, which was made permanent in 2022, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs start, grow, and become more resilient.

Through the Accelerate California Inclusive Innovation Hubs, California is helping to expand and diversify the innovation economy by improving access to resources in underserved communities, supporting emerging tech sectors, and catalyzing the creation of high-quality jobs in every corner of the state.

The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.