Monday, June 19, 2006

Business Births & Dissolutions - Statistics

Here's a handy site should you be approached by local media asking "How many small businesses were started or disappeared around here in the last few years?"

The Census Bureau has a section on their site which they call their Business Information Tracking Series. The page presents a series of links to spreadsheet files, providing data showing growth/decline of businesses (small or otherwise) over specific two-year periods (2002-2003, 2001-2002, etc.). Each shows data by the U.S. in general, as well as by state & specific industry sector. Lately, they've also been providing data on metropolitan areas, too.

If you click on "Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), totals" under the 2002-2003 banner, you'll be presented with a fairly substantial spreadsheet. Each MSA takes up three lines: "Initial year establishments," "Establishment births," and "Establishment deaths". In column D, for example, you'll notice that there were 1,724 "establishment births" in the Albany, NY metro area between 2002 and 2003 -- all but 263 of which were small businesses.

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