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Intuit is small business AI

AI tools are helping small businesses across America grow and do more

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AI tools help small businesses grow and do more


Small businesses are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help them connect with new customers and make more money with less work.

One of the biggest hurdles to running a successful small business is the number of roles owners have to assume—from CEO and CFO to CMO and CHRO. The challenges that accompany these roles, including acquiring customers, securing capital, paying workers, and delivering products or services, are persistent. The rise of AI tools can help small businesses solve many of these challenges with efficiency by automating repetitive tasks while also providing personalized, data-driven insights that were previously difficult to obtain. AI gives small businesses the opportunity to level the playing field by providing access to the same technology that big businesses currently use to their advantage.

While small businesses are often underrepresented in traditional economic data, they’re critical to powering local communities. They employ nearly half of the US workforce and represent 43.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Small businesses make up 99% of all American businesses, and their increased usage of AI tools has the potential to boost the economy. Data from the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index Annual Report suggests there’s a strong correlation between higher use of digital tools and better business performance. In fact, small businesses using digital tools (such as software, apps, social media, and e-commerce) to manage 8 or more different areas of their business report twice the revenue growth and 3 times the workforce growth.

Intuit AI tools

For more than 5 years, Intuit has helped small businesses boost productivity, cut costs, and make insightful financial decisions through a suite of responsible AI products. In the US, small businesses report saving over 30 hours per month on average by using Intuit QuickBooks. As Anna and Nathanael Bailey, husband and wife co-owners of Bailey Builds, put it, “Intuit’s AI tools help us better prepare and understand product demands. Since it’s data-driven, we don’t have to guess.” This allows the Baileys to be more strategic, saving them time and headaches while also helping them make more money. Unfortunately, access to responsible AI technology is not yet widespread. Only 2 in 5 small businesses feel familiar with AI, and nearly 20% of small businesses are concerned that AI is not designed with people like them in mind.

Working in partnership with the government, we can do more to help small businesses bridge the digital divide and modernize the resources and technology literacy programs they will need to unlock the potential of AI. Public policy should be updated to help small businesses grow and, ultimately, level the playing field between larger and smaller businesses. Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that new regulations help small businesses take full advantage of the benefits that AI tools provide.

There’s an urgent need for AI literacy

To start, small businesses stand to benefit immensely from AI literacy—but they do not know where to turn for resources that would help them understand the risks and benefits of it. 61% of small businesses say they would not be confident enough to use generative AI (GenAI) tools for their businesses without training or guidance. By supporting efforts like the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act (S.2677), policymakers can provide Small Business Administration (SBA) employees with the training they need to assist small business owners with AI adoption. It would also authorize SBA’s entrepreneurial development centers to assist businesses in accessing direct education about emerging technologies, including AI-powered tools, and learning to use AI confidently.


Right-sized resourcing can improve SMB success rates

Secondly, small business government programs and funding often do not prioritize or support emerging technologies as a permissible use of loan funds, grants, and technical assistance. Cash flow continues to be a challenge for small business owners, which means they don’t always have the resources or capital to fund the digital tools they need. To increase access to AI-powered digital tools, Congress should pass the commonsense, bipartisan Small Business Technological Advancement Act.

Small businesses need a seat at the policy table

Finally, it is crucial to include the perspectives of small businesses in the development of AI policy. AI has the potential to balance the scale for small businesses, but only if they have a seat at the table. Policymakers should support efforts to include small business stakeholders in AI working groups made up of third-party and industry participants. Intuit is helping connect small businesses with policymakers to share their perspectives through the Intuit Small Business Council. However, efforts like this must be scaled. This will ensure small businesses have access to knowledge sharing and partnership networks.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs should be able to harness cutting-edge tools so that they can spend their limited time focused on serving their customers and delivering the products they love. As Joseph Wight, co-founder of the Baltimore-based Wight Tea Company, says, “AI tools are huge because they allow us to focus on what we need to do to get our product manufactured and out the door—it takes care of the rest.” With dedicated support, small businesses could get the boost they need with access to AI-powered digital tools.