Published: October 26, 2021 | Updated: October 25, 2021

Idaho’s 2021 Small Business Profile

Sholeh Patrick

Sholeh Patrick

Every year the U.S. Small Business Administration releases a profile of small business activity in each state. Using the most recently available federal economic data, the profiles focus on the number of small businesses, employment, specific industry data and demographics.

In Idaho and similarly across the nation, small business is very big, representing the vast majority of total businesses.

Here’s Idaho’s 2021 report:

Number of small businesses: 176,029, representing 99.2 percent of all Idaho businesses.

They employ: 335,696 employees, representing 56.2 percent of all Idaho employees.

Growth: Between March 2019 and March 2020 (latest available), 8,237 businesses opened and 5,818 closed, for a net increase of 2,419.

Jobs: All businesses in Idaho added 75,627 jobs, while closing and contracting establishments lost 54,048, for a net increase of 21,579 jobs. Small businesses contributed a net increase of 19,608 jobs, or 90.9 percent of that total.

Industry leaders — employment: In terms of number of employees, construction employs the most (among Idaho businesses with fewer than 500), with 23,121 employees; followed by “professional, scientific, and technical” (22,464 employees); and real estate (20,531) industries.

Industry leaders — total payroll: In terms of dollars paid to employees, small construction businesses again lead with $2,025,149, representing 95.1 of the state’s construction industry. Close second is health care with 2,022,582, but in that case small businesses make up only 44.6 percent of the industry in terms of payroll.

Exports: A total of 1,694 identified firms exported goods worth $3.1 billion from Idaho in 2019. Of those exporters, 1,434 (84.7 percent) were small businesses. Small firms exported goods worth $919.0 million, making up 29.3 percent of exports by identified firms.

Demographics: Women made up 45.5 percent of Idaho workers and owned 45.7 percent of businesses.

Veterans made up 6.4 percent of workers and owned 8.8 percent of businesses.

Hispanics made up 12.2 percent of workers and owned 5.7 percent of businesses.

Racial minorities made up 7.8 percent of workers and owned 3.1 percent of businesses.

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Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network. Email