Small-Business Statistics: Numbers to Know for 2023

Small businesses feel the effects of inflation and the pandemic, but the numbers reveal a resilient spirit and commitment to entrepreneurship.
Karrin Sehmbi
By Karrin Sehmbi 
Edited by Christine Aebischer

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Nerdy takeaways
  • 33.2 million small businesses exist across the U.S.

  • 34.6% of small businesses survived to the 10-year mark.

  • 19.9% of businesses are minority-owned.

  • 32% of small-business owners say inflation is their biggest business challenge right now.

Have you ever wondered about the success rate of small businesses? Maybe you’re curious what percentage of small businesses are minority-owned or how inflation has affected small businesses across the country.

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 2023.

Small-business statistics: General facts

33.2 million small businesses across the U.S.

According to the SBA, as of 2022, 33.2 million small businesses exist across the country, employing more than 61.5 million people

U.S. Small Business Administration. 2022 Small Business Profile. Accessed Jan 6, 2023.

12.9 million jobs created

Small businesses created 12.9 million net new jobs between 1996 and 2021, accounting for 66% of net new jobs created since 1996, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Small Business Administration. Small Business Facts: Small Business Job Creation. Accessed Dec 20, 2022.

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 2012 reveals that 34.6% of those businesses remained open in 2022, meaning just shy of 35% of new businesses made it to their 10th anniversary


$25.7 billion in SBA 7(a) loans were provided to small businesses

In fiscal year 2022, the SBA provided $25.7 billion through more than 47,000 7(a) loans to small businesses. Sixty-eight percent of those were loans of $350,000 or less, the SBA reports.

Small-business statistics: Diversity in entrepreneurship

21.4% of businesses are owned by women

According to the Census Bureau’s 2021 Annual Business Survey, about 21.4% of all employer businesses in 2020 were owned by women. The over 1.2 million women-owned businesses employed nearly 11 million people


19.9% of businesses are minority-owned

The same Census Bureau survey reveals that nearly 20% of all employer businesses in 2020 were minority-owned businesses. Among those, Hispanic-owned businesses saw growth of a little over 8% from 2019 to 2020.

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 Dec 20, 2022.

$2 billion-plus 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 more than $2 billion in contracting awards to small businesses in fiscal year 2022. More than 62% of that total made it to small-business owners from underserved communities, according to the SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees.

76% of SBA microloans went to underserved communities

Business owners coming from traditionally underrepresented communities and hoping to secure a loan may be encouraged to learn that 76% of SBA microloans issued in fiscal year 2022 went to underserved communities, according to the SBA.

Small-business statistics: 2023 business landscape

32% 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 one-third of small-business owners indicate inflation is the most important business problem they face today

National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation. Small Business Optimism Index. Accessed Jan 6, 2023.

41% of small-business owners note trouble filling jobs

The same NFIB survey reveals 41% of small-business owners have struggled to fill open positions. Of the owners who reported actively hiring or trying to hire in December 2022, 93% cited a lack of qualified applicants.

85% of business owners feel the impact of supply chain issues

A majority of business owners have felt the impacts of supply chain issues to some extent, with nearly a quarter of small-business owners reporting a significant impact on their business, according to the NFIB survey.

64% of small-business owners expect revenue to increase

Despite the challenging economic climate, 64% of small-business owners expect to see revenue increase over the next year, according to Bank of America’s 2022 Small Business Owner Report

Bank of America. 2022 Small Business Owner Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2023.

57% of business owners believe cybersecurity will be increasingly important

The same Bank of America report reveals which technologies small-business owners believe will be most impactful to their business over the next 10 years. More than half — 57% — of business owners believe cybersecurity will be the most important emerging technology, while 39% of small-business owners see automation playing an increasingly important role.

Small-business statistics: COVID-19 pandemic recovery

5.5 million small-business jobs created after the recession

Small-business employment took a massive hit in the wake of the COVID-19 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 in the second half of 2020 and first half of 2021, small businesses created 5.5 million jobs. In the second quarter of 2021, specifically, small-business employment continued to show significant recovery with the creation of 939,000 jobs. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt among small-business owners, but this data offers a promising look at their resiliency.

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.

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 COVID-19 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 Dec 22, 2022.

18.5% of small-business owners plan to change business strategies in the next six months

As business owners look to remain resilient coming out of the worst of the pandemic, some are focusing on key areas of their business over the next six months: 20.2% plan to improve existing goods and services, 18.5% intend to shift business strategies, and 13.9% anticipate adopting or expanding use of digital technologies, Census Bureau data reveals.

More small-business data from NerdWallet