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Barbara's research on the  home-business and crafts industries:

A History of the Home Business Industry from 1981 to 1996 - adapted from Barbara's record of the dozens of  home business conferences and workshops in which she was a speaker during these years. This historical document illustrates the intense educational efforts being made at that time by various states and home business organizations, the SBA and small business development centers and other government agencies, and by private industry to help countless thousands of individuals start or expand businesses at home in both the U.S. and Canada. (PDF document)

A Brief History of the Crafts Industry. Shows the direct connection between the growth of today's professional handcrafts industry and the retail hobbycrafts supply industry, from 1940 to present day.

The Crafts Industry and Its Importance to the Economy. Information about the landmark craft surveys done by The Craft Organization Directors Association (CODA) in 2001 and 2011, with related article links.




Home-Business Industry
Research and Reports

National survey in 2004 finds nearly 60 percent of homebased business owners are without insurance. According to a survey of more than a thousand home-business owners  commissioned by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, most of America's 11 million home-based businesses do not have proper business insurance coverage. Nearly 40 percent of home-business owners say they thought they were protected by some other type of coverage, while almost 30 percent say their businesses are too small to insure. Nearly 20 percent could not give a reason for not having insurance.

"Proper insurance coverage can protect business owners from losses that can devastate a home-based business," says Madelyn Flannagan, IIABA vice president of education and research. "By not having business insurance, home-based business owners are at risk for significant financial losses associated with theft, accidental damage, natural disasters, vehicle accidents and liability if an employee suffers an injury while on the job or a business guest is hurt while visiting the home-based business. Homeowners' insurance normally does not provide protection in these situations."

NOTE: In 2014, the Census Bureau reports that the number of uninsured sharply decreased and, at that time, 33 million people were without health insurance. You can read that report here. 

"Home-Based Business and Government Regulations." This 2004 government report, written by Microeconomic Applications, Inc. and funded by SBA's Office of Advocacy, documents zoning problems of home-based businesses. According to this report, 53 percent of home-based businesses are coping with daunting zoning restrictions from both federal and local regulations. They are also having difficulty in complying with complex and confusing IRS rules for home office and equipment deductions.

The report, which examines state and local regulations in Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, finds that the most restrictive regulations are at the local zoning level. It also notes that some states have begun to enact legislation supportive of home-based businesses. Vermont, Maryland, and California were cited for such legislation. At the federal level, the report finds that IRS regulations penalize home-based businesses in their treatment of deductions. In particular, claiming a home-office deduction is complex; the depreciation is spread over an unrealistically long time, and returning the space to full residential use generally entails penalties. For several other older surveys on the home business industry, search for those keywords on the website.

NOTE: For more up-to-date information on government regulations, visit The Entrepreneur's Resource on

"eBiz: Strategies for Small Business Success." An excellent 2002 report by Joanne Pratt. "Unlike the so-called 'dot.coms,' 65 percent of small niche firms make a profit or cover the costs of their Web sites," says Pratt in the executive summary of this report. "The more innovative entrepreneurs--the early adopters--see the Internet as a way to market niche products and reach distant customers in ways that were not available in the past."

NOTE: The latest telecommuting research (2016) can be found on

"The Impact of Location on Net Income: A Comparison of Homebased and Non-homebased Sole Proprietors." This 2006 SBA study compared revenues, deductible costs and net income of 1.6 million homebased businesses and 1.9 million non-homebased firms. It revealed that the most profitable homebased business are those in wholesale trade, particularly durable goods and travel accommodations such as bed and breakfasts.

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Copyright © 2000-2016
by Barbara Brabec