Profiles offer statistical snapshot of small business

Nearly 564,000 small businesses in Colorado collectively employ more than 991,000 people, according to the latest version of an annual analysis that offers a statistical snapshot of small firms in all 50 states.

The latest report also reflects improving economic conditions for small businesses in Colorado and the United States.

The Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the U.S. Small Business Administration, prepares annual small business profiles for U.S. states and territories. The profiles include information on the number of firms, employment, demographics and other topics using the most recently available government data.

The latest profile for Colorado estimates there are 563,917 small businesses in the state — 440,482 without employees and 123,435 with employees. Small businesses — that is, those with fewer than 500 employees — represent 97.6 percent of all employers in the state.

Small businesses employed a total of 991,542 people, or about half the private workforce in the state.

Small businesses created 44,285 net new jobs in 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available. The number of people who were self-employed in 2013 increased 1.5 percent over the previous year.

Between October 2013 and October 2014, private sector employment in Colorado increased 2.5 percent, slightly above the 2.3 percent growth rate nationally.

Real gross state product increased 3.8 percent in Colorado in 2013, a faster pace than the 2.2 percent growth in U.S. gross domestic product for the same year.

Nationwide, the latest report estimated the U.S. is home to 28.4 million small businesses, which represents 99.7 percent of all businesses with employees. Small firms employed a total of about 56 million people.

The top three small business industry sectors with the most jobs were health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services and retail trades.

In 2013, 630,357 establishments opened, and 79.5 percent survived through 2014.

“After reviewing our profiles, readers will agree that the data is signaling a stronger U.S. economy,” said Christine Kymn, chief economist and director of economic research for the Office of Advocacy. “We are seeing improvements in the small business economy with business bankruptcies declining from 2010 to 2014 and the nation’s private-sector employment increasing by 2.3 percent from October 2013 to October 2014.”