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Celebrating small businesses

Small businesses are everywhere, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns, and new ones are opening all the time. To help support small businesses old and new, Google provides a number of resources to help business owners along in their journey. In 2018, our search and advertising tools helped create $335 billion in economic activity for millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the US. Each month, we drive over 1 billion connections for businesses nationwide, like phone calls or online reservations.

On International Small Business Day, here’s a look at some of the things people are searching for around small business ownership, based on Google Trends data.

Image: Pamela Vallarta finishes a cake.

“The first cake I made was for my dad’s 60th birthday,” says Pamela Vallarta, owner of Pasteles Increibles in Mexico City. “After that, everybody was asking me for a cake.”

“side business”

Pamela Vallarta has always had a creative streak, and she’s also loved cooking ever since she was a little girl. When she bakes a cake, she combines the two to make something equal parts delicious and cool. “I started in my parents’ kitchen, as a hobby,” she says. Now, her side business has turned into Pasteles Increibles, a full-fledged business in Mexico City, Mexico — and Pamela isn’t the only one with a vision of turning her passion into her work.

Around the world, people are searching for how to start a variety of different business types. This year, searches like comment démarrer une entreprise de marketing des médias sociaux (how to start a social media marketing business) in France, avviare un'impresa di costruzioni (start a construction company) in Italy, and cómo iniciar un negocio rentable por internet (how to start a profitable business online) in Mexico are the top searched businesses people want to start in those countries.

See the data on Google Trends

In 2018, Zimbabwe searched most for “small business”.

“building community around your small business”

Jasmine grew up always wanting to be an artist, but didn’t know how to make a living doing it until they discovered tattooing. However, as a genderqueer, trans person of color, Jasmine was treated differently in tattoo shops — so they decided to open their own: Spirited Tattooing Coalition, an inclusive tattoo shop in Philadelphia. “This is our safe space on our block,” says one customer. These types of connections between small businesses and the community can take many forms, and the data bears this out. In the United States, Search interest for “small business donations” increased by 20% in 2018.

Image: Jasmine tattoos a customer.

”I needed a place for myself and my clientele to feel safe. That’s why I opened the shop,” says Jasmine, owner of Spirited Tattooing Coalition in Philadelphia.

Businesses like Spirited Tattooing Coalition are more than just a storefront. They’re rocks for their communities, forging a real bond with not only the people they serve, but the people they employ. The data shows that searches for “thank customers” spike globally in the December pre-holiday season, as do searches for “thank employees.”

See the data on Google Trends

Around the world, searches for “thank employees” spike in December.

“small business near me”

When the markets crashed in 2008, Jenny Doan and her husband lost more than their retirement — they began to lose hope. Their two children wanted to help, so, knowing Jenny was an avid quilter, they bought her an old auto showroom in their hometown of Hamilton, Missouri. Soon after, Missouri Star Quilt Company was born. What started as a one woman shop in a town of less than 2000 now employs over 200 people, and is the world’s largest provider of pre-cut quilting fabric. But even more importantly, the town of Hamilton has been revitalized. There are over 14 quilt shops, 3 restaurants, and a hotel in town, and over 100,000 people visit every year. “My whole life I’ve always wanted to own a business, and none of that would be possible without Missouri Star Quilt Company,” says the owner of J’s Burger Dive.

Google Trends data shows that communities are recognizing how vital small businesses like Missouri Star Quilt Company are. Searches for “small business near me” have steadily climbed over the last five years in the United States, while searches for “family owned restaurants near me” have grown by 1000% over the last five years. People are also searching to support specific communities. For example, searches for “black women business owners” increased by over 130% in the United States.

Thanks to small businesses, a chai lover can find the perfect cozy tea house. A gardener can find the hardiest perennial. A toothache can find relief via the nearest dentist. A stained shirt can find a dry cleaner. And to help small businesses meet the rising demand of their customers, the Google for Small Business website—a Grow with Google initiative—aims to help owners understand which Google resources are the best fit for their business. Grow with Google provides free training, tools and expertise for small business owners and job seekers alike.

Here’s to all the small businesses for always being just around the corner. We'll see you soon.

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