The U.S. Census has released interesting data regarding the makeup of business establishments. According to the Census, in 2009 the Buffalo Niagara region (Erie & Niagara county) had 26,839 total business establishments.  A “business establishment” is defined as a single physical location at which business is conducted. A company as such may consist of one or more establishments. These establishments can be broken down into the following categories:


98% of area businesses have fewer than 100 employees (26,138)

70% of area businesses have fewer than 10 employees (18,690)

2% of area businesses have 100 or more employees (537)

The Census also states that the number of private sector employees in the Buffalo Niagara area was 458,110, (in 2009), which equals an average of 17 employees per business establishment.

It is interesting to realize how few big companies there are not only in Buffalo but across the nation. Yet it seems that an inordinate amount of attention is spent by politicians and economic development officials on attracting big companies to come here through tax payer funded incentives. Small businesses are creating jobs through the passion of entrepreneurs usually without any government assistance at all.