Small-Business Statistics 2024

Small businesses feel the effects of inflation and the pandemic, but the numbers reveal a resilient spirit and commitment to entrepreneurship.
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Written by Karrin Sehmbi
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Fact Checked
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Co-written by Rosalie Murphy
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Co-written by Olivia Chen
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Nerdy takeaways
  • 33.3 million small businesses exist across the U.S.

  • $27.5 billion in SBA 7(a) loans were provided to small businesses.

  • 21% of businesses are minority-owned.

  • 16 million new business applications have been submitted since 2021.

There are 33.3 million small businesses across the country, employing more than 61.6 million people, as of 2023, according to the SBA. A valuable driver of the United States economy, small businesses have seen unprecedented changes since the Covid-19 pandemic, but not all of them have been negative.

Federal agencies like the Small Business Administration, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics keep tabs on nearly every facet of the small-business economy. Surveys from nonprofits and private groups help round out the picture. The following small-business statistics give a snapshot of the business landscape in the U.S. as of 2024.

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Small-business employment statistics

33.3 million small businesses across the U.S.

According to the SBA, as of 2023, 33.3 million small businesses exist across the country, employing more than 61.6 million people

SBA Office of Advocacy. 2023 Small Business Profile. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

16 million new business applications since 2021

The years since the COVID-19 pandemic began have seen a significant and unprecedented increase in new business applications — 16 million since 2021 — leading to 2.8 million established new businesses.

Minority- and women-owned businesses have contributed significantly to the rise in small-business creation. Black- and Latino-owned businesses experienced the fastest growth, with business ownership increasing from 5% to 11% and from 7% to 10%, respectively, between 2019 and 2022. And from 2019 to 2023, the growth rate of women-owned businesses was 94% greater than their male counterparts


17.3 million jobs created

Small businesses created 17.3 million net new jobs between 1995 and 2021, accounting for 62.7% of net new jobs created since 1995, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Small Business Administration. Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business 2023. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

Small businesses contributed to 70% of net job increases

Small-business employment took a massive hit in the wake of the pandemic, with a net loss of 8.6 million jobs in the second quarter of 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But between March 2021 and March 2022, small businesses created 4.9 million jobs, accounting for 70% of all new job creation during that period. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt among small-business owners, but this data offers a promising look at their resiliency

SBA Office of Advocacy. 2023 Small Business Profile. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

20% of new businesses close within a year

Starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart. Around 20% of new businesses close within a year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though most businesses will find short-term success, only a handful have long-term staying power. BLS data showing the number of businesses that opened in March 2013 reveals that 34.7% of those businesses remained open in 2023, meaning just shy of 35% of new businesses made it to their 10th anniversary


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Small-business lending statistics

$27.5 billion in SBA 7(a) loans were provided to small businesses

In fiscal year 2023, the SBA provided $27.5 billion through more than 57,300 7(a) loans to small businesses. Nearly 70% of those were loans of $350,000 or less, the SBA reports.

50% of SBA microloans went to Black- and Latino-owned businesses

Small-business owners received $87 million in SBA microloans in fiscal year 2023, and $43.5 million of those loan dollars went to Black- and Latino-owned businesses.

10.5 million-plus PPP loan recipients submitted forgiveness applications

As of October 2022, more than 10.5 million PPP loans were submitted for forgiveness. Ninety-three percent of those have been partially or fully forgiven, according to metrics collected by the SBA.

$7.3 billion in bonded contracts were awarded to small businesses

The SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee program, which helps small businesses (particularly those in historically underserved communities) compete for government contracts, aided in the distribution of $7.3 billion in contracting awards to small businesses in fiscal year 2023. Of those, 62% of that total made it to small-business owners from underserved communities, according to the SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees


Small-business diversity statistics

22% of businesses are owned by women

According to the Census Bureau’s 2022 Annual Business Survey, about 22% of all employer businesses in 2021 were owned by women. The approximately 1.3 million women-owned businesses employed 10.5 million people.

21% of businesses are minority-owned

The same Census Bureau survey reveals that 21% of all employer businesses in 2021 were minority-owned businesses. Among those, Hispanic-owned businesses saw growth of a little over 8% from 2020 to 2021


21.7% of business owners are immigrants

Data from New American Economy shows that more than 21% of all U.S. business owners as of 2019 were immigrants. And as of 2017, immigrant-owned businesses employed 8 million people

New American Economy. Entrepreneurship. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

Small-business industry statistics

Small businesses in the leisure and hospitality industry experienced a 9.6% loss in establishments

Due to the pandemic, 9.6% of small businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector — including restaurants, hotels, and arts and recreation — closed, leading to a 41.1% loss in employees, according to the SBA Office of Advocacy. Businesses in the other services sector, which includes repair, dry cleaning and laundry, and personal or pet care, experienced a similar loss of 9.3%; however, only experienced a 22.1% loss of employees.

Retail business applications increased by 87%

Though the number of new business applications rose across every sector, the retail industry was the biggest driver of this growth, increasing from about 525,000 applications in 2019 to nearly 1 million in 2021.

The Office of Advocacy attributes this increase in part to structural market changes driven by the pandemic, which pushed a lot of sectors toward e-commerce and remote work. This not only removed the “incumbent advantage” of existing businesses that incurred additional costs to adapt to the online economy, but it also has made it more affordable to start a business.

Transportation and warehousing business applications grew by 100.7%

Transportation and warehousing also experienced an explosion in business applications, growing by 100.7% from 2019 to 2021. It’s possible to draw a correlation between this increase and the rise in demand for e-commerce goods, though the Office of Advocacy notes that such structural changes don’t account for the rise in applications across every business sector

U.S. Office of Advocacy. Business Dynamics During The COVID-19 Pandemic. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

Small-business outlook statistics

23% of business owners cite inflation as their single most important problem

A monthly survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation notes that nearly a quarter of small-business owners indicate inflation is the most important business problem they face today. While still significant, this number is down from about a third of 2022 respondents.

40% of small-business owners note trouble filling jobs

The same NFIB survey reveals 40% of small-business owners have struggled to fill open positions. Of the owners who reported actively hiring or trying to hire in December 2023, 49% cited a lack of qualified applicants. Behind inflation, quality of labor was the second most important problem facing business owners

National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation. Small Business Economic Trends . Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

73% of business owners feel the impact of supply chain issues

A majority of small-business owners have felt the impacts of supply chain issues to some extent, with 19% reporting a loss of customers as a result, according to Bank of America’s 2023 Small Business Owner Report.

65% of small-business owners expect revenue to increase

Despite the challenging economic climate, 65% of small-business owners expect to see revenue increase over the next year, according to the same 2023 Bank of America report.

55% of business owners expect all accepted payment methods to eventually become digital

The Bank of America report reveals that over half of surveyed small-business owners expect to eventually digitize the way their business accepts payments. On the flip side, of the 56% of business owners who say cybersecurity threats impact their business, a quarter of them respond to these threats by cutting back on digital tools such as payroll, banking, payments and information storage

Bank of America. 2023 Small Business Owner Report. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

21.6% of small businesses cite a large negative effect on business due to the pandemic

While 21.6% of small businesses were still seeing (as of April 2022) a large negative effect on their business as a result of the pandemic, that figure is an improvement from the 31.8% of small businesses that felt such an impact earlier in the pandemic (between August and September 2020), according to data collected by the Census Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau. Small Business Pulse Survey. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

Small-business banking statistics post-SVB failure

A NerdWallet survey of over 300 U.S. small-business owners was conducted online by The Harris Poll between April 26 and May 1, 2023. The survey asked about business banking habits in general, as well as the impact of 2023 bank failures, such as Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, on business owners. Read the full survey methodology.

96% of small-business owners have business bank accounts

In the 2023 survey of small-business owners, 96% say they have a business banking account.

Of those small-business owners who have business banking accounts, 52% use just one bank for these accounts, 39% use two banks and 10% use three or more banks.

60% reported no impact from recent bank failures

Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed in March 2023. According to NerdWallet’s survey, 60% of small-business owners say recent bank closures had no impact on their business.

Only 13% of small-business owners say they opened a new bank account as a result of recent bank failures, though 25% say they considered moving their business accounts to a different bank.

Payroll was delayed as a result of recent bank failures for 4% of small-business owners.

Over half of small businesses have $50,000 or more in their business banking accounts

Of small-business owners who have business banking accounts, 14% report having less than $10,000 across all of their business banking accounts. Another 13% say they have between $10,000 and $24,999.

On the other hand, 55% say they have $50,000 or more across all their business bank accounts. And 23% report having $250,000 or more on deposit.

If your bank has $250,000 or more in cash deposits, it’s important to spread it out across multiple bank accounts. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation only guarantees up to $250,000 per account in the event of a bank failure.



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This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet from April 26 – May 1, 2023 among 307 U.S. small-business owners, among whom 296 have business banking accounts. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 5.6 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].

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