Carly Fiorina Says Small Businesses Are the Answer

“I think we need to understand what the true engine of economic growth and job creation is in this country. It has always been small businesses, new businesses, family-owned businesses, community-based businesses that create two-thirds of the jobs and employ half the people. And we are now crushing those businesses. In fact, we are destroying more businesses in the United States now than are being created for the first time in our history."

On Monday, July 12, 2015 while on ABC’s “This Week"
Sources: ABC News, Carly Fiorina campaign YouTube 

The Context: Questioned about Jeb Bush’s target of 4% growth of the economy per year, Fiorina agrees with the goal and calls it “tragic” that Americans "have become used to an economy that sort of putt putts along between 1 and 2 percent.” She is clear about her preferred direction, and blames “a very large, powerful, complicated government” for slowed business creation. While not offering an explicit solution during this interview, Fiorina implies that she wants to minimize government regulation or involvement, as opposed to what she describes as “tangling people’s lives up in webs of dependence.” 

There are many definitions of a "small business" which vary by industry. The category can include firms that employ hundreds of people and earn multiple millions of dollars annually. However, Fiorina describes businesses that are new, family-owned, and community-based, and therefore we chose to consider “small businesses” as those employing fewer than 20 people, in order to paint the picture of the country the way her listeners are likely interpreting the statement. Additionally, given that small business growth is closely tied to state-level and local incentives and economic development strategies, we asked,

How has the number of small businesses changed in recent years? And where are their numbers growing and declining?