The Pandemic-Era Small Business Boom – What it Means for Franchising

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or completely cut off from all the positive business news that’s swirling around, we have some updates for you. Yes, despite the caution given to rising inflationary pressure, the environment for small business development remains robust and a new article in Axios echoes this claim in a recent story entitled, “The Pandemic-Era Small Business Boom”.


For a closer look at some of the positive data and statistics included in this story, here are some of the takeaways you should know about:

A Big Jump

The U.S. Census Department tracks the number of new business applications filed during the year. And in 2021, business was good, with a 53% jump in filings from the 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Approximately one-third of these applications were for businesses that are classified as “high-propensity,” meaning its highly likely they’ll employ multiple people and create new jobs in the marketplace. To demonstrate the shift, the 2010s were notoriously slow for entrepreneurial-related filings.

What Gives?

Blame it all on the pandemic. One particular study found that people Googling “how to start a small business” jumped 124% in just the first six months of the pandemic! The two-year stint of lockdowns, working from home (now an acronym – WFH), long periods of contemplation, and a lot of available discretionary income from stimulus checks and money not spent on vacations and travel, has led to plenty of business-forming activities. Oh, and it also led to what’s now referred to as the ‘Great Resignation,’ which tallied almost 70 million Americans who quit their jobs in 2021. Over 40 million of those were initiated as voluntary resignations. In other words, they left for greener pastures!

The Current Landscape

While the world is rightfully focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the economy at home has yet to feel a strong pinch – especially compared to those suffering under the multiple rounds of economic sanctions imposed by the west. While inflation is at a decades-high level, the Fed has taken responsive action in the form of their first interest rate hikes in years.  All told, however, the U.S. is still doing remarkably well. The country added nearly seven million jobs last year – a record. The unemployment rate currently sits near its pre-pandemic low of 3.5%.  And the GDP rose 6% in 2021, with an economy now more than 3% bigger than before the pandemic.

All current indicators seem to point to another year of solid growth in the U.S., with economic growth predicted to rise an additional 3% in 2022. While the issues of inflation and global conflict will no doubt have a say in our continued recovery, many experts believe that the supply chain disruptions will largely fade away in the coming months, relieving even more backpressure across multiple industries.

In short, optimism for small business growth, our economic recovery, and the franchising industry in general remain high. If you’ve been considering a life more entrepreneurial, you’re by no means behind the curve at this point and FranNet of DFW and Oklahoma can help you get started on a personal journey of your own.

Our assistance is – and always will be – no-cost and no-obligation to you. If you’re ready to explore some suitable franchise concepts, we can help you discover a whole new career transition. Each year, we help dozens of North Texans (and Oklahomans!) find franchised businesses that match up with their lifestyle, income, and work-life balance goals. We’d love to add your name to our client roster, so let us know what your lifestyle and income goals look like for 2022!

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