Census Data Shows Vitality and Diversity in South Carolina Economy

SC Economy Vitality

South Carolina continues to attract a diverse new crop of businesses according to the latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau (census.gov). The first annual “Survey of Entrepreneurs” reveals that new businesses are being started in the state of South Carolina at a healthy pace. Nearly 1 in 12 businesses were not around just a few years ago according to the survey.  Businesses started by entrepreneurs are bringing a new vitality and diversity to the state’s economy.  About 8 percent of South Carolina’s businesses have been in existence for less than two years, just shy of the national rate of 9 percent. South Carolina ranked 22 in the country, just behind bigger states like New York and California. The state is keeping pace with the rest of the country in the development of new business.

The survey findings show a diverse group of entrepreneurs are going into business.

  • Minority owned businesses represent 12 percent of all of the state’s businesses, but a larger percentage of new businesses (20 percent).
  • Veterans are starting up 8 percent of South Carolina’s new businesses, and are outpacing the national average of 6 percent.
  • Women own just 18 percent of companies in South Carolina, but represent a larger percentage of new startups (21 percent).

This represents a new trend for South Carolina, which historically has been less diverse than the nation as a whole. . Darrell Jones, head of the Charleston Area Small Business Development Center, told the Post & Courier in a recent article on the Census data, that many entrepreneurs are willing to take the risk because of the strong South Carolina economy. They are interested in opening up all kinds of businesses like microbreweries and restaurants, recreational vehicle parks and day care centers. Industries like technology, trade and transportation are among the fastest growing businesses in the state. This entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in 5,700 firms opening up in less than two years.  Mr. Jones said this is a good sign for the state since new businesses tend to grow faster than better established companies, and will enhance the overall outlook of the South Carolina Economy.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs” September, 2016

Source: Post & Courier, “S.C. Gaining New, Diverse Businesses,” by Thad Moore, September 3, 2016

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