Markets and Economy

Small Business Performance in Urban America

A new report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute examines how small businesses are growing—and, in some cases, struggling—in 25 cities across the United States.


A new report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute examines how small businesses are growing—and, in some cases, struggling—in 25 cities across the United States.

The vast majority of businesses in the United States are small: 80 percent have no employees, and 99 percent have fewer than 500 employees. Given their quantity, these firms also have a significant influence on the economic health of the communities they call home, bolstering incomes and employment rates when they make up a larger share of local business.

To better understand what drives growth and failure in the small business sector—and thereby economic growth in local communities—the JPMorgan Chase Institute analyzed financial data of more than 290,000 firms for its latest report, The Small Business Sector in Urban America: Growth and Vitality in 25 Cities

The report’s key findings include:

  • New firms account for most of the revenue growth in the small business sector, but their contributions vary widely by city. For example, new businesses in Columbus, San Francisco and Denver are growing faster than average, while those in Portland and Detroit are experiencing negative aggregate growth.
  • Across cities, 5 percent of firms account for nearly all aggregate revenue growth among new small businesses, and these usually grow organically.
  • Small firms in construction, health care services, high-tech services and other professional services drive aggregate growth in most cities.
Markets and Economy JPMorgan Chase Institute Report

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