stethoscope lying on U.S. currency (Photo: Shutterstock)

During National Small Business Week in May, the nation celebrated the important role that Main Street businesses play as an economic driver for their communities. Yet even as the focus on employee wellbeing, and financial wellbeing in particular, grows in importance among human resources and benefits leaders, millions of small businesses – particularly historically underestimated businesses led by entrepreneurs of color – are unable to access the types of benefits and solutions that can help their employees thrive financially.

The need is acute: more than 44 million people in the U.S. work for companies with fewer than 100 employees. Many of these are frontline workers who provide essential services – including childcare, construction, health services, and environmental services, to name a few. Our data suggest that these workers are struggling financially, with less than one-fourth of the small business employees surveyed for our recent study considered financially healthy. Yet unlike many workers in larger firms, respondents often didn’t have access to employer-provided solutions that can help them with their financial needs.

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