retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that even as the pandemic rages on, "Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade, according to government data, seizing on pent-up demand and new opportunities after the pandemic shut down and reshaped the economy."

The story goes on:

"Applications for the employer identification numbers that entrepreneurs need to start a business have passed 3.2 million so far this year, compared with 2.7 million at the same point in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That group includes gig-economy workers and other independent contractors who may have struck out on their own after being laid off.

"Even excluding those applicants, new filings among a subset of business owners who tend to employ other workers reached 1.1 million through mid-September, a 12% increase over the same period last year and the most since 2007, the data show."

KC's View:

I think this speaks well of the American spirit, even if it isn't quite as simple as people starting new businesses and everything being cupcakes, flowers and rainbows.

The fact is that most new businesses fail in their first year of operation.  And a sizeable number of these new businesses may have been created by people who had been laid off by shrinking or closing businesses.

I'm personally familiar with this.  That's essentially why I started MNB almost 19 years ago … it was my third time around being without a gig because of other people's mismanagement, and so I decided to strike out on my own so I'd only have myself to blame.  And that doesn't even count the two clothing stores I worked for when I was young that went out of business.  (Maybe I'm a bad luck charm…)

It is a good thing that all these people, facing personal and professional hardships that may just a few months ago may have seemed unimaginable, have decided to try to take control of their own destinies.  The Journal story talks about people who did things like start bakeries and workout studios, build mobile apps and fix bicycles.