February 15, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

New Report Analyzes Alabama’s Small Businesses

The Small Business Advocate

Advocacy: the voice of small business in government



News Release

Release Date:  February 14, 2013

Contact: Brad Howard (202) 205-6941

SBA Number: 13-03 ADV

Email Address: Bradley.Howard@sba.gov

WASHINGTON – Small businesses significantly impact Alabama’s economy, employing 768,302 workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 – 499 employees, according to a new state-by-state report released today by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy.


The Small Business Profile for the States and Territories, an annual analysis of each state’s small businesses, also finds that self-employment in Alabama improved over the last decade, while minority self-employment saw the largest growth. All in all, Alabama’s 393,768 small businesses represent 96.9 percent of all employers, and they employ 49.0 percent of the private-sector labor force. Nationwide, there are 27.8 million small businesses representing 99.7 percent of all employers and employing nearly half – 49.1 percent – of the private-sector labor force.


“Like many states across the nation, small businesses are helping to strengthen the economy in Alabama,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Most of the country’s small businesses continue to be very small, having fewer than 20 employees, but they paint a big picture of a recovering America. Advocacy’s analysis gives us a clear understanding of just how important small businesses are in Alabama.”

Alabama’s small business profile contains detailed information about the number and type of businesses in the state, business owner demographics, industrial makeup, business turnover and income and finance. Most data are also presented in comparison with similar data over time. Each state’s small business profile can be read or downloaded by visiting the Office of Advocacy’s website at www.sba.gov/advocacy/848.


Highlights of the Alabama small business profile include:


Overall Economy

§ Alabama’s economy was strong in 2011, with real gross state product increasing 1.7 percent and private-sector employment increasing 0.2 percent.

§ The state’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percent in 2011.

§ During the midst of the economic recession, the employment situation from 2007-2010 was weak, and small businesses in Alabama had a net job loss.


Small Businesses

§ Small businesses in Alabama employed 768,302 workers in 2010, with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 – 499 employees.

§ Most of the state’s small businesses are very small as 80.9 percent of all businesses have no employees, and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.

§ In 2011, the number of opening establishments was lower than closing establishments, resulting in a positive change in net employment.



§ Self-employment in Alabama improved over the last decade by 16.3 percent.

§ Minority self-employment saw the largest growth in Alabama over the last decade.






The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.

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