Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses have been struggling to remain afloat during periods of uncertainty. Small businesses specifically remain one of the primary pillars supporting our country’s economy, with businesses employing fewer than 500 workers making up two-thirds of net new jobs, and accounting for 44 percent of economic activity nationwide. Hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated one-third of American small businesses have either temporarily or permanently closed since early 2020. Despite the hardships of the last two years, entrepreneurs across the state remain optimistic, with 2021 applications for new businesses surging.
According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, during the period between January 2021 and January 2022, approximately 5.8 million new business applications were filed, with Nevada accounting for 73,430 of those. That translates to a rate of 2,384 applications for every 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average, and fifth highest among all 50 states. By the end of the first quarter in 2022, application rates maintained steady numbers between the highest and lowest months of the previous year. January saw 5,343 new applications, February saw that number bump up to 5,428 new applications before falling back to 5,353 in March. While these numbers are positive, not all new business applications result in the creation of a new business, and only about 80% of new businesses last for more than a year.
In the recently released Nevada State Bank Small Business Survey, the majority of businesses estimated operations would return to normal by the end of 2023. 42 percent of respondents reported increases in sales and revenues in the last year, with one out of three reporting increased profitability as well. 80 percent of businesses also reported experiencing supply-chain challenges and/or delays, and expect these issues to continue impacting operations through the rest of 2022. In the same survey, business owners who report still struggling said that it may take them up to two more years to return to pre-COVID levels.
Last month in Reno, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the state’s investment in Gener8tor, a program designed to improve access to funds for small businesses and startup accelerators in Reno and Las Vegas, stating, “Today’s announcement that a top-ranked accelerator will be investing in and accelerating companies in Reno shows the world what our community has known for a while: Reno has arrived, and we will welcome the innovators and those with a dream who want to start their businesses here.”