News Column

Report Shows Small Business Impact in Alabama

Feb 18, 2013
Small Business owner

According to a recent report by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses significantly impact Alabama's economy, employing 768,302 workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20-499 employees.

The annual state-to-state report, "Small Business Profile for the States and Territories," also reported that self-employment in the state improved over the last decade, while minority self-employment saw the largest growth. All in all, the state's 393,768 small businesses represent 96.9 percent of all employers, who employ 49 percent of the private-sector labor force.

"Like many states across the nation, small businesses are helping to strengthen the economy in Alabama," said Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for advocacy. "Most of the country's small businesses continue to be very small, having fewer than 20 employees, but they paint a big picture of a recovering America. Advocacy's analysis gives us a clear understanding of just how important small businesses are in Alabama."

Alabama's small business profile contains detailed information about the number and type of businesses in the state, business owner demographics, industrial makeup, business turnover and income and finance. Each state's profile can be accessed by visiting the group's website at

Highlights of the Alabama small business profile include:

Overall Economy

--Alabama's economy was strong in 2011, with real gross state product increasing 1.7 percent and private-sector employment increasing 0.2 percent.

--The state's unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percent in 2011.

--During the midst of the economic recession, the employment situation from 2007-2010 was weak, and small businesses in Alabama had a net job loss.

Small Businesses

--Small businesses in Alabama employed 768,302 workers in 2010, with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 -- 499 employees.

--Most of the state's small businesses are very small as 80.9 percent of all businesses have no employees, and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.

--In 2011, the number of opening establishments was lower than closing establishments, resulting in a positive change in net employment.


--Self-employment in Alabama improved over the last decade by 16.3 percent.

--Minority self-employment saw the largest growth in Alabama over the last decade.

Source: (c)2013 the Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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