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Small Businesses Play a Vital Role in Alaska’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Office of Advocacy released the annual Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories. This is the 16th year Advocacy has published a state-by-state profile of American small business for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The profiles are an invaluable resource for small businesses, legislators, academics, government officials, and policymakers in each state. The Alaska profile uses the most recent data available to provide details about the state’s small business employment; business starts and closings; bank lending; business ownership by minorities, women, and veterans; and firm and employment change by major industry and firm size.

“Small businesses are the foundation of economic growth in Alaska and in our nation” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “By supporting policies that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, we help small businesses tackle these challenging economic times. These statistics are a resource for a path to economic growth.”

Here are some highlights from Alaska’s small business profile:

•  There were 66,975 small businesses in Alaska in 2009. Of these, 15,838 were employers and they accounted for 51.7 percent of private sector jobs in the state. Small firms made up 96.5 percent of the state’s employers.

•  Throughout 2010, the number of opening establishments was lower than closing establishments but the net employment change from this turnover was positive.

•  Alaska’s real gross state product decreased 5.9 percent and private-sector employment increased 0.8 percent percent in 2010. By comparison, real GDP in the United States decreased 1.3 percent and private sector employment declined by 0.8 percent.

•  Self-employment in Alaska declined over the last decade. Minority self-employment fared the best compared with other demographic groups during the decade.

State profiles from previous years are available at http://archive.sba.gov/advo/research/profiles; these provide a historical perspective of each state economy.

For more information and a complete copy of the current state and territory small business profiles, visit the Office of Advocacy website at http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/848/41391

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.

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