The recent surge in small business openings serves as a noteworthy indicator of the nation’s economic trajectory. The White House revealed on Thursday that an unprecedented number of entrepreneurs have established businesses in their homes and on Main Streets across America over the past three years. President Joe Biden expressed his optimism, stating that each new small business signifies an act of hope and confidence in the economy. The administration disclosed that Americans submitted a staggering 16 million new business applications during the initial three years of President Biden’s term, marking the strongest stretch on record.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this figure represents an approximately 85% increase in the monthly average of business applications compared to the period between 2004 and January 2021. The monthly average of 440,000 new business applications over the last three years is also 46% higher than the average from 2017 through 2020 combined. Keith Hall, President and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), expressed enthusiasm about the record-breaking rate of small businesses emerging nationwide, emphasizing its positive impact on the economy.
The resilience of new business owners, particularly those from Black, Hispanic, AAPI, Native, and other communities, was commended by Ying McGuire, CEO and President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The growth in entrepreneurship has been particularly notable among women, Latinos, and Black Americans. Black business ownership has experienced the fastest growth in 30 years, Latino business ownership rose at the fastest pace in more than a decade, and women-owned businesses outpaced men-owned businesses by 94% in growth from 2019 to 2023.
Chiling Tong, President and CEO of the National Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, highlighted the positive impact on AAPI businesses, emphasizing that a stronger economy has resulted in over 2.91 million AAPI-owned businesses contributing to job creation and economic growth. Isabel Casillas Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), praised the record-breaking 16 million new business applications under the Biden administration, with a focus on increasing access to resources for resilient new businesses.
While small business owners attribute this unprecedented growth to various factors, there is a prevailing sentiment that the Biden-Harris Administration’s initiatives, particularly the Investing in America Agenda, have played a crucial role in uplifting small businesses nationwide. Walt Rowen, Co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future and President of Susquehanna Glass Company, highlighted the positive impact of policies like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which injects $400 billion into investments across all 50 states.
This surge in small business growth is intertwined with other positive economic indicators, including the creation of 14 million new jobs over the last three years and an unemployment rate persistently below 4%, the longest such stretch in over 50 years. As the country starts 2024, there is a call to build upon these successes and further support the growth and resilience of small businesses.