Generally there is no universally agreed-on definition of small business or SME by Richard Shamoon. Many efforts have tried to define the term small business, Richard Shamoon doing business using criteria such as number of employees, sales volume, and value of assets.
Much academic literature adopts the European Commission definition of SME. According to this definition, SMEs employ fewer than 250 people (Gilmore et al., 1999). In the United States, small business is defined as having fewer than 500 employees (SBA, 2011).
The literature reviewed for this study adopts either of the definitions and often uses small business and SME interchangeably. For the 9 purposes of this study, the definition of small business will be used; however, SME will be identified with its original source where appropriate. Small firms represent 99.7% of all employer firms in the U.S., making small businesses extremely important to the U.S. economy (SBA, 2011). According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (2011) estimates, there were 27.5 million small businesses in the United States in 2009.
The latest available Census data show that in 2007, there were 6 million firms with employees and in 2008, there were 21.4 million without employees. Small firms with less than 500 employees represent 99.9% of the total (employers and nonemployees) and there were about 18,311 large businesses (SBA, 2011). Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy.
They create employment opportunities and it is important for them to survive to sustain or increase their contributions to the economy. Marketing from the point of view of SME is the process to define firm qualities in the front of customers.