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Connecticut Sees Drop in Small Business Before Start of COVID-19 Pandemic, SBA Data Shows

  • SBA Office of Advocacy issues state-by-state breakdown of small business economy
  • Small businesses account for nearly all companies in Connecticut and employ almost half of all workers in the state
  • Small business jobs were declining in the lead-up to the COVID-19 pandemic, falling by 11,251 between March 2019 and March 2020

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Small businesses account for nearly all Connecticut companies and about half of its employees, according to recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, the state also saw a decline in small business employees in the lead-up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SBA’s Office of Advocacy released profiles on each state’s small business economy, using the latest federal data. The office noted how the available data still predates the pandemic, extending only to March 2020.

Connecticut’s 2021 Small Business Profile shows that the state has 355,596 small businesses, accounting for 99.4 percent of all businesses in the state. The companies employ 739,870 people, or 48.4 percent of all workers in Connecticut.

  • Between March 2019 and March 2020, Connecticut saw a net decrease of 652 establishments as 9,373 businesses opened and 10,025 closed; small businesses accounted for 9,205 openings and 9,850 closings
  • Connecticut added 124,153 jobs and lost 133,913 during this period, a net loss of 9,760; small businesses had a net loss of 11,251 jobs, adding 103,088 and losing 114,339
  • Small businesses in Connecticut were primarily offering professional, scientific, and technical services; 56,104 companies fell into this category, of which 85.6 percent were non-employer firms
  • Real estate and construction were the next most common small businesses in the state, each accounting for just over 39,000 jobs
  • Women accounted for 40.7 percent of small business owners in Connecticut, minorities for 12.1 percent, Hispanics for 9 percent, and veterans for 5.5 percent
  • Small business employment was most pronounced in Litchfield and Tolland counties
  • In 2019, lenders reporting data under the Community Reinvestment Act approved $892 million to Connecticut biz with revenues of $1 million or less
  • 5,645 Connecticut companies exported $15.3 billion in goods made in the state in 2019; 88 percent were classified as small, accounting for $7.1 billion of the total

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