2018 Small Business Profile


• In the third quarter of 2017, Florida grew at an annual rate of 3.0%, which was slower than the overall US growth rate of 3.4%. Florida’s 2016 growth rate of 2.4% was down from the 2015 rate of 3.9%. (Source: BEA)

• In January 2018, the unemployment rate was 3.9%, down from 4.6% in January 2017. This was below the January 2018 national unemployment rate of 4.1%. (Source: CPS)


Figure 1: Florida Employment by Business Size (Employees)

  • Florida small businesses employed 3.3 million people, or 42.2% of the private workforce, in 2015. (Source: SUSB)
  • Firms with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment. Figure 1 provides further details on firms with employees. (Source: SUSB)
  • Private-sector employment increased 2.1% during the 12­ month period ending in January 2018. This was below the increase of 3.3% during the prior 12-month period. (Source: CPS)
  • The number of proprietors increased in 2016 by 2.6% rela­tive to the previous year. (Source: BEA)
  • Small businesses created 152,330 net jobs in 2015. Firms employing fewer than 20 employees experienced the largest gains, adding 92,180 net jobs. The smallest gains were in firms employing 100 to 499 employees, which added 22,733 net jobs. (Source: SUSB)

TheSmall Business Profiles are produced by the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Each report incorporates the most up-to-date government data to present a unique snapshot of small businesses. Small businesses are defined for this profile as firms employing fewer than 500 employees. Net small business job change, minority small business ownership, and exporter share statistics are based on the 2015 Statistics of US Businesses (SUSB), 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), and 2015 International Trade Administration (ITA) data, respectively.


• The number of banks decreased by 14 between June 2016 and June 2017 to 138 banks. (Source: FDIC)

• In 2016, 449,537 loans under $100,000 (valued at $5.6 billion) were issued by Florida lending institutions reporting under the Community Reinvestment Act. (Source: FFIEC)

• The median income for individuals self-employed at their own incorporated businesses was $41,226 in 2016. For individuals self-employed at their own unincorporated firms, this figure was $18,986. (Source: ACS)

Median income represents earnings from all sources. Unincorporated self-employment income includes unpaid family workers, a very small percent of the unincorporated self-employed.


Figure 2: Florida Employees per Business by Owner’s Demographic, 2015

Figure 2 shows the average number of employees per employer business by owner’s demographic group according to the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE). Unshaded bars display US values; data were withheld because they do not meet Census Bureau publication standards or could disclose information regarding individual businesses.


Figure 3: Florida Quarterly Startups and Exits

• In the third quarter of 2016, 20,880 establishments started up, generating 88,109 new jobs in Florida. Startups are counted when business establishments hire at least one employee for the first time. (Source: BDM)

• In the same period, 18,474 establishments exited resulting in 75,721 jobs lost. Exits occur when establishments go from having at least one employee to having none, and then remain closed for at least one year. (Source: BDM)

• Figure 3 displays quarterly startups and exits from 1992 to 2016. Each series is smoothed across multiple quarters to highlight long-run trends. (Source: BDM)

The BLS data covers only business establishments with employees. BLS refers to startups as births and exits as deaths. These terms are distinct from the BLS openings and closings categories. Openings include sea­sonal re-openings and closings include seasonal shutterings. Quarterly startup and exit values may not align with Figure 3 due to smoothing.


• A total of 59,617 companies exported goods from Florida in 2015. Of these, 56,664, or 95.0%, were small firms; they generated 58.9% of Florida’s $49.5 billion in total exports. (Source: ITA)


Table 1: Florida Employment by Industry, 2015


Figure 4: Florida Small Business Employment by County, 2015


Table 2: Florida Small Businesses by Industry and Firm Size, 2015

Figure 4 and Tables 1 and 2 display data from the 2015 SUSB. Table 2 includes additional data from the 2015 Nonemployer Statistics (NES).