SCORE, the network of volunteer business mentors, has published its inaugural “Megaphone of Main Street: Report on America’s Small Businesses,” the first report in a series that will present original, statistically significant survey data on the American small business landscape.

Survey data for the report was collected from 18,000 respondents in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., representing small businesses of varied sizes in a broad coverage of industries.

SCORE has collected this data annually for eight years through its annual Client Engagement survey, conducted by PwC. However, this is the first time that selected statistics (showcasing small business owners’ experiences and sentiments in fiscal year 2016) are being shared with the general public.

Key findings include:

Startups: Jobs Created by Non-Employer Firms, Part-Time Workers, and Independent Contractors

  • 42% of startups reported hiring one or more part-time employees and independent contractors, for an average of 3.2 jobs.

In Business: Microbusinesses Overcome the Odds

  • When part-time employees and independent contractors were included in calculations, microbusinesses (0–4 employees) contributed the most jobs and hired more new workers, in comparison to small businesses with more than five employees.
  • 65% of microbusinesses reported that they expect to be struggling or stagnant in 2017, while 54% of other businesses (>4 employees) anticipated growth in the same time span.

Shared Concerns and Sources of Information

  • Only 14% of start-ups, and 15% of existing businesses, obtained financing.
  • Entrepreneurs at all stages of the business life cycle ranked “marketing and sales (finding new customers)” as most important to their respective business’ success, out of eight possible answers.
  • Small business owners in all stages of the business life cycle looked to other business owners and peers as their primary sources of information, at double the rate of the second most popular source of information (internet search).