Delaware added 2,393 small businesses in 2016

While all eyes have been on Chemours and Dow-DuPont, the number of small businesses in Delaware has grown larger.

There are now 77,306 small businesses operating in the state — 2,393 more than in 2015. Small businesses — businesses with fewer than 500 employees — now write the paychecks for almost 46 percent of Delaware’s private workforce. The state’s private-sector employment increased by a slim 0.7 percent in 2016.

John Fleming, director of the Small Business Administration’s Delaware (SBA) district office, said the increase is the result of an ecosystem that’s been building in the state for about eight years, including the creation of shared workspaces like 1313 and The Mill, an increasing number of small-business incubators, increased activity in Sussex County, and the work of agencies such as the Small Business Development Center, the SBA, SCORE, the Delaware Economic Development Office, and the Women’s Business Center.

More facts about Delaware’s small businesses:

• The median income for self-employed individuals at their own incorporated businesses was $48,649 in 2015, $782 less than in 2014. For individuals self-employed at unincorporated firms, the median income was $24,337, $1,094 less than in 2014.

• In the second quarter of 2015, the latest figures available, 763 businesses started up in Delaware, generating 2,614 new jobs. In the same quarter, 746 businesses exited, resulting in 2,636 jobs lost.

• More than 1,700 companies exported goods from Delaware in 2014. Most were small businesses. Those 1,486 small businesses generated almost a quarter of Delaware’s $4.8 billion in total known exports.

• Delaware’s construction industry is built on small businesses. They employ 17,462 individuals, 94 percent of all privately employed construction workers in the state.

• About 44 percent of Delaware’s healthcare and social assistance employers in the private sector are small business.

• Small businesses employ 64 percent of those who work in the state’s accommodations and food services industry.
• Only 35 percent of Delaware factory workers are employed by small businesses.

• Most of the companies that exported goods from Delaware in 2014 were small businesses.

• The state’s private professional, scientific and technical services industry includes 10,947 small firms. Of those, 8,537 are non-employer firms that consist of only the owners. There are 2,157 firms with 1 to 20 employees and 2,410 firms with 1 to 499 employees.

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