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Dave Olson, Published December 20 2013

Small businesses critical to economies of North Dakota, Minnesota

Small businesses, which by definition have fewer than 500 employees, are critical to the economies of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Statistics from the Small Business Administration spell out just how critical:

North Dakota

Small businesses, which numbered 65,218 in 2010, made up 96 percent of all employers in the state and employed 62 percent of the private-sector labor force.

Most of the state’s small businesses are very small, with 72 percent having no employees other than the owner. Of those businesses that do have employees, most have fewer than 20.

In 2011, the number of business startups was higher than the number of establishments that closed.

Minnesota

Small businesses represent about 98 percent of all employers in the state and employ half of the private-sector workforce.

Numbering 496,918 in 2010, small businesses in Minnesota employed 1.2 million people that year.

As in North Dakota, most small businesses in Minnesota are very small, as about 76 percent of all businesses have no employees other than the owner.

Of those that do have employees, most have fewer than 20.