February 15, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Alabama Lost 4,434 Small Employers Between 2000 and 2010

February 14, 2013

The number of small employers in Alabama -- that is, businesses with between 1 and 499 employees -- fell 5.7 percent between 2000 and 2010. The total fell from 77,597 entities to 73,163, a loss of 4,434 small employers, according to the latest report from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The total number of employers in Alabama grew nearly 31 percent over that decade, from 302,955 businesses to 396,123. But most of those entities do not have employees beyond the proprietor (320,605 so-called nonemployers in 2010).

While the number of small employers fell slightly, decreases in small business lending were much more significant, the SBA says. The number of CRA loans (named for the Community Reinvestment Act) under $100,000 fell, from nearly 69,000 small business loans in 2000, to just under 42,000 such loans in 2010 (and down again to 36,874 in 2011).

The aggregate value of those small loans fell from $1.2 billion in 2000 to $763 million in 2010, then rebounded slightly in 2011 up to $838 million.

Large employers make up a small share -- roughly 0.5 percent -- of the businesses tracked by the SBA. But large companies employ 51 percent of the state's private-sector workforce, the report says.

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