The number of businesses opening across East Baton Rouge Parish has trended down since 2010, but net business growth is up thanks to fewer businesses closing their doors, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
Despite COVID-related restrictions, a tight labor market and high inflation, 4,506 businesses opened their doors from 2020 through 2022 while just 755 closed, netting the parish more than 3,700 new businesses in three years, BRAC’s Jake Polansky writes.
“This leads us to where we are today: one in every four East Baton Rouge businesses currently open has opened since the beginning of 2020, showing how quickly local entrepreneurs have remade the local economy in just a few short years,” he says.
Service providers, restaurants and bars have led the way. There are more than 230 new businesses providing “miscellaneous services.”
More than one-quarter of new businesses registered in the parish since the beginning of 2022 are “home-based,” including 31% of the 494 new retailers. Opening a home-based business is an increasingly attractive option for entrepreneurs: 20% of new EBR businesses in 2014 were home-based compared to 29% in 2022.
One possibly worrisome trend: The gap between entrepreneurs taking the initial step of filing a business application and registering the business with the parish to begin operations is widening, which underscores the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs, BRAC says.
Chris Spalatin, BRAC’s manager of small business services who helps connect local entrepreneurs with services and programs, is a scheduled speaker for next week’s Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, taking place at various downtown venues. Learn more about BREW here.