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Small Business Saturday in New York City


Small Business Saturday boosts support and awareness of local and small businesses nationwide. In light of the upcoming event, we’re taking a look at the economics of small businesses in retail [1] across the five boroughs of New York City.

Small Business Saturday may be a shop-local oasis between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but ever since its introduction by American Express in 2010, the day has been making waves.

NYC’s Small-Businesses: Where they Are
With over 32,000 small business retail establishments citywide in 2016, Brooklyn is king, with around 10,000 of them. [2] Manhattan is a close second with around 9,800 establishments, followed by 7,300 in Queens, 3,800 in the Bronx, and around 1,200 in Staten Island. And the total number of stores is on the rise. Between 2012 and 2016, NYC gained 900 small business retailers, with the biggest percentage increase of openings in Staten Island (2.3%) and the most new stores opening in Brooklyn (569). Interestingly, small businesses are closing their doors in Manhattan, which saw a 1.3% reduction in small business retail establishments between 2012 and 2016.

Small Businesses and Jobs
Small-business employment showed similar trends to store openings: the last four years have seen  almost 8,000 new small-business jobs in the city, reaching a total of almost 94,000 jobs in 2017.[3] Also, in every year since 2013, all boroughs saw an average increase of 1.9% in small-business employment during the holiday months of October to December. As with store openings, Staten Island led the city in job growth with a 5.8% increase in small-business employment since 2013.

The Holiday Spike
As seen in the accompanying chart, the holiday shopping season translates to serious spikes in the monthly earnings of small-business employees. While Manhattan’s employees consistently enjoy both the highest average earnings and the highest holiday wage increases compared to other boroughs, 2016 was an all-time high, with an average wage of $4,463 per month. This marked a 23.9% holiday season wage increase over the rest of the year. However, in terms of overall annual increase, employees in Queens and Brooklyn are faring better than Manhattan, with wage increases above 4% since 2013 compared to 3.6% in Manhattan.

Don’t forget to show your support to local businesses this Thanksgiving, and shop small with family and friends on Small Business Saturday on November 24!

[1] Retail establishments considered for analysis are defined by NAICS 44-45 and “small” in small business is defined as twenty employees or less.

[2] Data source for number of establishments: American Factfinder, United States Census Bureau

[3] Data Source for Quarterly Employment: QWI Explorer, LEHD, US Census Bureau

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