The economic recovery, such as it is, has been a big business experience for a while now, with small companies largely left out of the party.
And there's evidence that's still true.
Consider data from American Express OPEN, using numbers from the US Census Bureau. It found that large, publicly traded companies are 3 percent of US businesses, but employ 53 percent of all workers and make 64 percent of business revenues. In 1997, they employed 43 percent of all workers and generated 55 percent of revenues. Privately held firms, however, account for 97 percent of all businesses, but contribute 47 percent of jobs and 36 percent of revenue.
And a study by Wells Fargo/Gallup of 602 small business owners' expectations have plummeted. The index was 0 compared to 12 the quarter before. (It should be noted it was below 0 in 2009 and 2010).
Then there's work from the National Federation of Independent Business indicating that optimism among the 811 small business owners surveyed dropped by 3 percent in April. Weak demand was cited as the primary culprit.
Why the gap? As I've written before, big companies are able to take advantage of the low dollar and growth of emerging markets in a big way, at the same time that they continue to have better access to credit than smaller folks. (Also check out this from Emergent Research, which has written about what it calls a "two-speed economy").
While some banks are supposed to be trying to loosen lending to small companies, this bifurcated recovery is likely to keep up for the foreseeable future.