The United States is regarded as the land of opportunity, and rightly so. Small businesses have been the backbone of the United States’ thriving economy for many years. Most businesses that are started begin with a passion, someone’s lifelong ambition, which then turns into a small business.

New York is no stranger to small businesses; it ranks 4th in the U.S. for the most number of small businesses in the state. If you want to be a small business owner, then New York might be for you!

The Empire State is considered to be one of America’s economic powerhouses. Over the past several years, it has been consistently voted as one of the top states for business due to the government’s pro-business approach, having the fourth-largest workforce, an excellent education system that produces many skilled workers, proximity to one of the world’s largest consumer markets, and quality of life like no other.

Number of Small Businesses in New York

So, how many small businesses are there in New York? There are 2,212,167 (2.2 million) small businesses in New York, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and New York small business owners that set up shop in New York; the state is a hotbed for international entrepreneurs. There are 348,547 immigrant entrepreneurs in New York that account for 34% of all self-employed New York residents.

The following bar graph shows the number of small businesses in New York in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

How many small businesses in New York

Of the 2,212,167 small businesses in New York in 2020, there is a wide array of different enterprises from small, one-person sole proprietorships or LLCs, local businesses serving specific areas, and much larger businesses with several hundred employees. If you want to join the 2.2 million-plus small businesses in New York, it is fairly easy to register a business in New York.

To be a small business owner in New York, you have to qualify as one. So, to operate as a New York small business, you must have a company with less than 500 employees.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the number of small businesses in New York by looking at the top industries, business owners, local businesses, employees, and more!

Small Businesses Statistics in New York for 2020

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.8% of all businesses in New York.
  • There are 4,110,264 small business employees in New York, 49.8% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in New York added 69,042 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing fewer than 20 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 381,950 self-employed minorities in New York, demonstrating the diversity in the state.
  • Trade is huge for New York businesses, and there are 34,506 small business exporters in New York.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services New York small businesses than any other type – 325,491.
  • Real Estate and Rental Leasing firms make up the 2nd largest small businesses in New York – 238,064.

Top 5 small business industries in New York

How Many Small Businesses in New York?

Over 2.2 million New York small businesses are a lot to be registered in any one state. When you look at the size of the Empire State’s economy and influence on business, it is hard to argue as a small business owner why so many have chosen New York.

Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in New York is 6.98% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in New York has been growing over the past several years.

  • In 2017 there were 2,129,015 small businesses, which increased to 2,143,667 in 2018 (a 0.68% increase).
  • In 2019 there were 2,168,799 small businesses in New York, 25,132 more than the state had in 2018 (a 1.17% increase).
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in New York rose again, to 2,212,167 (a 1.99% increase).
  • These increases show why New York has the 10th largest economy in the world!

New York has an incredible amount to offer employers, employees, companies, and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

The state has small business development centers, economic development councils, an abundance of business resource centers, and as a small business owner, you have access to one of the largest consumer markets in the country.

As an entrepreneur, you can take advantage of international access by land, sea, air, world-class infrastructure, an extremely healthy import/export market, strong population and job growth, and an amazing education system.

If you would like to download the latest 2020 Small Business Profile on New York from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, the full Profile can be downloaded here.

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