America’s Film & TV Industry is a Network of Small Businesses

May 6, 2016

Bringing movies and TV shows from an idea or story to screens big and small isn’t a process that happens overnight. Productions often spend months shooting on location around the country, requiring the services and supplies of hundreds of local vendors and businesses – from construction, transportation, and lumber providers to costume, florist, and paint shops.

This often overlooked fact about the film and television industry is particularly important to highlight this week, which President Obama proclaimed as “National Small Business Week.”

“As outlets for creativity and ingenuity, small businesses do more than create jobs and foster growth — they represent the spirit that has always driven our Nation forward,” said President Obama.

True to this sentiment, the relationship between film productions and small businesses is symbiotic. The productions gain the skill and expertise of local businesses, and the vendors benefit from a boost in sales and spending. In fact, the U.S. motion picture and television industry is comprised of nearly 89,000 businesses located throughout all fifty states, with 84 percent of them employing fewer than 10 people. In other words, the American film and television industry is a massive network of small businesses.

While there are countless examples of major productions that have hired a wide array of local vendors, here’s a few places where small businesses are taking center stage in the creation and distribution of the movies and TV shows that audiences enjoy around the world:

  • Georgia: There are nearly 3,000 motion picture and television industry businesses in Georgia, including 1,957 production-related companies. The production of “Selma” spent $470,000 on in-state wardrobe purchases, dry cleaning and laundry. The film also purchased $180,000 worth of lumber, hardware, and other supplies.
  • Ohio: The film and television industry in Ohio, fueled by productions like “Carol” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” is home to more than 1,300 production-related companies.
  • Massachusetts: The Bay State’s film industry is comprised of more than 1,880 motion picture and TV industry businesses. Warner Bros.’ “Black Mass” was responsible for huge contributions to local vendors, including over $820,000 on car rentals, nearly $560,000 on wardrobe purchases, and over $452,000 on catering, bakery goods, and other food items.
  • Louisiana: The productions of “Pitch Perfect” and “Pitch Perfect 2” combined to spend more than $40 million in Louisiana, including the purchase of over 7,000 hotel nights. Overall, the state’s film industry supports more than 1,100 motion picture and TV industry businesses.

Featured Image: A picture from the set of “Barbershop: The Next Cut” courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The film was shot in Georgia.