How Many New Businesses Open Annually In the 5 Biggest Cities in America?

Sylvia Powell
3 min readSep 12, 2022

Doesn’t it seem like there’s a new small business opening their doors every other day in your city? It sure seems like it in mine! According to the Small Business Association (SBA) more than 627,000 new businesses open every year, although on the flip side 595,000 businesses close their each year. This means that in actuality the total number of businesses in the U.S. increases by roughly thirty-thousand each year.

How many of these 627,000 new businesses open in just the top five biggest cities in the country? Using data put together by SMBCompass that measures the number of businesses that open (and close) each year, I found that an average of 134,000 new businesses open in the top 5 cities each year. That’s 40% of all new businesses in the country! Below you’ll find the average number of new businesses that opened in these 5 cities each year between 2016 and 2019.

1.) New York, NY is the world’s biggest city by a large margin (~8 million) so it comes as no surprise that it had the most new businesses opening each year. An average of 53,012 new businesses open in NYC each year.

FEMA/Kenneth Wilsey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

2.) Los Angeles, CA is the second largest city in the country has roughly half the population of NYC but 67% the amount of new businesses opening. Over the 5 year period L.A. had an average of 36,303 new businesses opening each year.

Adoramassey, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3.) Chicago, IL may be the third biggest city but it does not have the third most new businesses opening annually. Chicago had an average of 20,819 new businesses open each year during this time, just slightly beaten out by Miami, FL.

Humbledumpty, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4.) Houston, TX was found to have the eight most new businesses opening each year in the U.S. The city’s average number of new businesses during this 5 year period was 14,146.

David Daniel Turner, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5.) Phoenix, AZ ranked even further down the list, coming in at lucky number thirteen for new businesses. Phoenix sees an average of 9,722 new businesses opening each year.

Melikamp, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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