Government Data Shows Big Increase in NC Business License Applications Despite Pandemic

Date: March 17, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a tremendous financial toll on North Carolina’s small businesses, but figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show there’s been a big increase in the number of business applications in the state even as social distancing and other restrictions led to a drop in revenue that forced some businesses to close.

As reported by The Center Square, there was a 93.8% increase in business license applications statewide in January 2021 compared with the same month a year earlier. That’s in sharp contrast to January 2020, when the number of applications increased only 0.4% from a year earlier.

NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson told The Center Square the increase seems counterintuitive given the pandemic but is likely because of the state’s flexible business climate as well as gaps in the market created when businesses close. 

“Sometimes when there’s an economic downturn, as we have experienced over the past year or a little bit longer, it does present opportunities for people who were maybe in the process of opening a business or thinking about opening a business to go ahead and do it because there are so many, as we know, that have closed,” Thompson said.

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