Record Numbers of People Starting Up New Small Businesses

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Record numbers of people are starting new businesses, and more and more of them are women- and minority-owned, according to a new study. New business applications jumped in 2020 as the pandemic started, and have continued to be filed at a record pace. More than 5 million applications were filed in 2021 and 2022 and a record 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023. Payroll firm Gusto surveyed 1,300 owners who started their small business last year to discover their characteristics. Women made up 49 percent of the new business owners surveyed. That’s in line with the past several years, but up starkly from 2019, when just 29 percent of new business owners were women. Black entrepreneurs made up 6% of new business owners in 2023, double the 3% rate seen before the pandemic. Hispanic entrepreneurs made up 13% of new owners, compared to 8% last year.

Why it matters: For our state and national economy, it is critical that new small businesses join the fray to provide jobs and services to our communities — and that new entrants from minority demographics play their part in ensuring the business community’s diversity and resiliency.

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