Big Business: It is appealing and enticing to know that you can climb the corporate ladder. You have so many options for promotions, moving into other departments or just staying at the same job. Also, you get the big overall picture of how the business world works and how many layers there are in the decision making process. The business could very well have international offices and you will be communicating or doing business with another country! Benefits are usually better along with vacation and personal time and it looks great on your resume as most people will know the company if it is that large.
The downside is probably the chance of layoffs or downsizing. Also, you may be competing with many employees for the same promotion. You can get lost in the shuffle as there are so many people in a large corporation. You have to keep front and center so they know you are there and willing to move up the ladder.
Small Business: It is like a small town where everyone knows everyone else. You go to lunch together and often times make lasting friendships. The work is usually specialized as the business will have few positions and if you are happy being in one job for a while then it is the perfect niche for you. However, if you are in a start-up small business then you are on the ground floor when all the activity starts and you will probably move up quickly. It is an excellent spot to be in as no one has done that job and you own it!
The downside is that everyone does know everyone else’s business and some people find that intrusive. You may not have the same advantages of being promoted or move into another department because there are limited positions. Also the benefits usually are not as good as a larger company and the time off would be less as you are working with a smaller staff.
Personally I have worked in both types of business and I loved them both for different reasons. I learned a lot in both large and small business and I realized I enjoyed working in either venue.