Sharp decline in new business development across South Carolina highlights impact of Covid-19 Recession on the state

Press Release

Frank Knapp
803-600-6874 cell

Columbia, SC, September 26, 2020—The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) has compiled data showing a decline in new business license applications in numerous municipalities and counties in South Carolina.

The data shows a worrisome trend in the health of the economy, namely that new business development has declined significantly in many parts of the state if not state-wide. New business licenses declined by 946 in the same months in 2020 as compared to 2019.  If these results reflect similar experience in other states, the implication for economic recovery from the recession is severe.

“Today the United States is at a 40-year low in new business startups—a statistic that has many concerned since economists tell us that most net new jobs come from businesses less than 5 years old with four or fewer employees,” said Frank Knapp Jr., President and CEO of the SCSBCC.  “Since small businesses led the country out of the Great Recession by being the first to start hiring, this one-two punch of hundreds of thousands of small business closures nationwide and fewer new local business applications will certainly not bode well for the nation to recover quickly from this recession.

While the Wall Street Journal reports that there has been a surge in federal employer identification number requests,” said Knapp, “these must turn into business applications in local communities.  This hasn’t happened at least in South Carolina through July.  Never-the-less, we all applaud and encourage workers who have lost their jobs in this recession and turn to being self-employed entrepreneurs.  But the nation’s economy today and in the future is in real trouble.”



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