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page 1www.xero.comThe importance of Small Business to New Zealand Small and Medium Enterprises 1 are a vital component of the New Zealand economy. As illustrated by outgoing Minister for Small Business, Clayton Cosgrove’s statement, “the high number of SMEs makes them important to the economy, but it is their potential for growth that makes them vital to the government’s economic transformation agenda.” 2• 449,000 small businesses in New Zealand• 97.1% of enterprises employ 19 or fewer people• 89% of enterprises employ 5 or fewer people. This includes: • 60,000 startups (13% of the total) 3 • 12,119 registered charities • 97,000 non-profit institutions • SMEs accounted for 31% of all employment • The total number of people employed by SMEs increased by 18% between 2001 and 2007 to 594,410• The SME sector contributes $50billion, or 38.6% of GDP• 37% of sole traders and 56% of 1-5 employee companies established in 2001 survived to 2007• There was nearly 100% survivability for firms with ...