RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Technology is growing increasingly important to business owners across the country, according to a new survey.

“Increasingly, small-business owners count on technology to start and scale their companies. And there is growing evidence that technology supports millions of small businesses in the United States,” says the survey  from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Technology Engagement Center,  research and consulting firm Morning Consult and social media giant Facebook.

“Indeed, everything from the way consumers find and purchase products and services to the way small businesses market and ship their wares is influenced by new technologies.”

The survey says there are 871,376 small businesses across North Carolina. These employ 1.6 million people, or 44.8 percent of the state’s workforce.

Key findings include:

  • 84% of small enterprises are using at least one major digital platform to provide information to customers;
  • 80% are using at least one major platform to show products and services, as well as to advertise;
  • 79% are using digital tools to communicate with customers and suppliers; and
  • 75% are using tech platforms for sales.

Respondents also pointed out the importance of digital and social media skills in hiring and finding jobs.

  • 62% of small businesses surveyed stated that digital and social media skills are an important factor when hiring; a higher proportion reported
    this as a more important consideration than where a candidate attended school.
  • 26% of adults in the U.S. also said that they have searched for or found a job using Facebook, revealing that the platform not only helps
    businesses grow but also serves as a mechanism through which job seekers can find relevant positions.

In a breakout of the survey, Facebook notes that may businesses use it as part of their recruiting process and want workers with social media skills.