Published: October 25, 2022 | Updated: October 20, 2022

Idaho’s small business profile rising

Sholeh Patrick

Sholeh Patrick

Idaho’s small business footprint is growing.

Each year the U.S. Small Business Administration releases a profile of small business activity in each state. Using the most recently available economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census, 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 2022 report:

Number of small businesses: 183,972 (7,943 more than last year’s report), representing 99.2% of all Idaho businesses.

They employ: 347,193 employees (11,497 more than 2021), representing 56.3% of all Idaho employees.

Growth: Between March 2020 and March 2021 (latest available), 10,143 businesses opened and 5,944 closed, for a net increase of 4,199 new businesses and representing a 73% change in net increase in one year.

Jobs: Businesses of any size added a net increase (subtracting jobs lost from jobs gained) of 16,907 jobs. Among small businesses, the net increase was 16,910 jobs. Both figures represent an increase over the prior year’s report, but a smaller one.

Industry leaders — employment: Among businesses with fewer than 500 workers, construction continues to employ the most, with 24,498 employees; again followed by “professional, scientific, and technical” (23,951 employees); and real estate (21,731) industries. All show a slight increase over last year

Industry leaders — total payroll: Looking at wages, the small-business construction industry again leads total annual payroll with $2,251,551, representing 93.8% of the state’s construction industry (that’s more dollars compared to last year’s report, but a slight decrease in percentage).

Close second is health care with 2,148,477 (a 6% increase), but in that case small businesses make up only 44.3% of the industry in terms of payroll.

Exports: Here’s where it gets a little more interesting. A total of 1,635 identified firms exported goods worth $6.2 billion from Idaho in 2020; that’s fewer firms than the previous year, but almost double the value of the exports. Of those exporters, 85.6% were small businesses.

Demographics: Not much changed in Idaho’s demographic small business profile.

Women made up 45.5% of Idaho workers and owned 45.9% of businesses

Veterans made up 6.4% of workers and owned 8.5% of businesses.

Hispanics made up 12.2% of workers and owned 6% of businesses.

Racial minorities made up 7.8% of workers and owned 3% of businesses.

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