How Technology Empowers Small Businesses

In October, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Technology Engagement (C_TEC) hosted an event with the Greater Houston Partnership focused on the impact of technology on small business and government. The event, TecNation 2022: How Technology is Powering the American Economy, brought together business leaders, decision makers and small business owners to assess their use of technology and its impact on their work.

Greater range at lower cost

The small business owners at our event made one thing clear to me when I spoke to them. Technology serves as a force multiplier in their efforts to reach new customers and grow their business.

“I could never do old-fashioned advertising with television or newspapers,” said Ramon Sorriano, owner of La Calle Tacos. “You know the money isn’t going there. And I would pay to be exposed to people who don’t care about my product, so being able to really target the person who really wants to know about my product makes all the difference and my advertising budget goes way beyond that.

Brian Spears of Baby Chic, a resource guide from pregnancy to motherhood, agreed. “It allows us to amplify that content to all of our users,” Brian said. “And beyond that, we get about a million users on our website a month to be able to reach even beyond those people is a massive help.”

A lifeline for communities

Beyond the impact of introducing their products and services to new customers, our panel of small businesses agreed that technology enabled them to adapt in the face of turbulent business conditions.

Mario Amaro, owner of Ease, a technology platform that helps independent doctors open practices, said technology is changing communities across America. Now, thanks to technology, independent practitioners can better serve underserved communities through traditional healthcare providers. “The way we envision enabling clinicians to be independent changes the concept of what a practice is and how you access it,” Mario said.

Similarly, Ramon recounted that during flooding following a tropical storm in 2019, technology allowed his restaurant to partner with other businesses to provide relief to first responders and his community by matching resources with production capabilities. eating.

What the data tell us

TechNation 2022 panelists and attendees largely agreed on the benefits of technology for their businesses. Their testimonies match what the United States House found in its recent report, Empowering Small Business: The Impact of Technology on America’s Small Business

Our report found that small businesses are nearly universal in their adoption of a wide range of technology platforms.

More than 9 in 10 small business owners in the United States report using at least one type of technology platform as part of running their business. The most prevalent use of technology in US small businesses is the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which are used by two out of three small businesses (66%). This is followed by the use of accounting software applications used by 56% of small businesses and marketing platforms used by 41% of small businesses.

Since 2020, small businesses that integrate technology platforms are more likely to see growth in sales, profits and employment.

What this means for policy makers

The upshot of what small businesses tell us about using technology to grow their business is that without the right policies in place, small businesses could lose their ability to adapt and meet new challenges in the world. 21st century economy.

Learn more about our policy recommendations at https://americaninnovators.com/empowering-small-business/

About the authors

Jordan Crenshaw

Jordan Crenshaw

Vice President, C_TEC, United States Chamber of Commerce

Crenshaw is vice president of the Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC).

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