The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on small businesses, which are estimated to employ nearly half of all American workers. A recent Federal Reserve Bank study noted that over the past two years the pandemic caused almost 200,000 businesses to close their doors, with small businesses making up the vast majority.

It's not a stretch to say that nearly every person in the Shreveport, Bossier City area knows someone who either lost their business during the hardest days COVID, or at least a business that is still struggling to recover.

The South is Bouncing Back and Louisiana is Leading the Way

A new report from Self Financial takes a look at the states that have seen the largest increase in new business applications. And there's plenty of good news for the nation’s small businesses and lots of it is right here in Louisiana.

A recent survey of business applications conducted by the US Census Bureau shows the reasons for optimism: as the nation's economy began to reopen and recover, the number of new businesses skyrocketed. Since the lockdown days in 2020, America has seen a nearly 25% increase in new business applications, and that increase held relatively steady through 2021.

Study Has Great News for Shreveport, Bossier

And the areas leading the comeback, retail and transportation, are why not only Louisiana, but specifically Shreveport and Bossier City, are leading the way. While total business applications grew markedly since the beginning of the pandemic, the strongest increases appeared in the southeast US. Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia top the nation with application increases of over 55%. And to be more specific, retail is up 59% and the transportation sector 35%.

And now for the best news of all. According to that US Census Bureau study, Shreveport and Bossier City are second in the nation in "midsize metros" in percentage of business application increases with a 59.9% jump.

Midsize Metros with the Most New Business Applications

1) Mobile, AL +71.8%

2) Shreveport - Bossier City, LA +59.9%

3) Baton Rouge, LA  +59.5%

4) Augusta, GA +58.5%

5) Jackson, MS +53.3%

6) Savannah, GA +53.1%

7) Killeen - Temple, TX +50.4%

8) Fayetteville, NC +49.9%

9) Flint, MI +49.5%

10) Montgomery, AL +49.2%

To see the entire SELF report, including statistics for the largest and smaller metro areas across America, JUST CLICK HERE!

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