By SBE Council at 28 October, 2019, 9:47 pm
by Raymond J. Keating-
When Halloween rolls around, I think about candy, scary movies, and of course, small business.
Specifically, on the candy front, I’m a fan of most things made of, to varying degrees, milk or dark chocolate.
As for a Halloween movie selection, how about “Ghostbusters”? I saw an anniversary showing in the theater recently. I was reminded of how funny it was. And the fact that the human bad guy was an EPA bureaucrat meant that a bit of the real world made it into the film. Thumbs up for “Ghostbusters.”
What about small businesses? SBE Council traditionally takes a look at the role of small business in key Halloween-related industries. Consider the following examples (from most recent Census Bureau data 2016):
● Among chocolate and confectionery manufacturing from cacao beans employer firms, 80.5 percent have fewer than 20 workers, and 91.5 percent fewer than 100 employees.
● Among firms in the confectionery manufacturing from purchased chocolate sector, 75.5 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 93.8 percent fewer than 100 workers.
● As for employer firms in the nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing business, 74.0 percent have fewer than 20 workers, and 89.7 percent fewer than 100 employees.
● Among employers in the confectionery merchant wholesalers sector, 87.8 percent have fewer than 20 workers, and 96.1 fewer than 100 employees.
● As for firms in the confectionery and nut stores sector, 91.6 percent have fewer than 20 workers, and 97.7 percent fewer than 100 employees.
● And among formal wear and costume rental firms, 89.8 percent have fewer than 20 workers, and 97.4 percent fewer than 100 employees..
In turn, Halloween is big business for businesses of all sizes. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that Halloween spending is expected to register $8.8 billion this year. That would be down slightly from last year’s $9 billion, but still comes in at third highest among the 15 years the NRF survey has been conducted.
NRF also found that 172 million people will celebrate Halloween this year. That includes 29 million people who plan to dress their pets in costumes. That last point reminds me that if you want to launch a successful business, you may consider a business that caters to family pets. It is amazing what people will spend on their kitties and pooches (I’m a dog person, but no costumes for our pug or our golden retriever mix). The American Pet Products Association estimated that $75.38 billion will be spent on pets in 2019.
Halloween very much is a treat for small businesses.
Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.