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Delta Regional Authority says most jobs are due to small business

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MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - According to the Delta Regional Authority study released in Monroe, more than 90% of net new jobs in the delta area since 1992 were created by small, locally-owned establishments.

The report was released in conjunction with Small Business Saturday and National Entrepreneurship Month.

The study goes on to say that local businesses with nine or fewer employees are generating nearly all new jobs. This led DRA Chairman Masingill to say, "small businesses and entrepreneurs are the past, present and future of the delta economy."

Specifically, the study, according to the Delta Regional Authority, indicates that locally-owned delta small businesses have provided nearly all new net jobs over the past two decades - underscoring the importance of supporting entrepreneurship and small business development in the region - new private sector economic data released today showed. The new report, Jobs and Small Businesses: Job creation and loss in the federally designated Delta region, completed by the Delta Regional Authority and Dr. James Stapleton, Executive Director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University, found that more than 90 percent of the new net Delta jobs over past 20 years have been created by local small businesses of nine or fewer employees.

In fact, in the difficult years known as the Great Recession, local small businesses created over 58,000 new jobs while nonresident and noncommercial establishments eliminated nearly 368,000.

These are what the DRA defines as the key economic findings in the report:

The DRA region is becoming a region of increasingly local, smaller firms. Since 1992, locally-owned establishments with 9 or fewer employees have created over 91 percent of the net new jobs.

The job market in the DRA region is dynamic, with an average of 783,595 jobs being created or destroyed every year. While the economy in the DRA region has created additional jobs throughout the eighteen-year period, the number of jobs still lags behind levels achieved in 2001.

The primary dynamics of job creation throughout this period was establishment openings and closings, and existing establishment expansions and contractions. However, since 2001, startup establishments are creating fewer jobs, the number of establishments closing has increased, and the number of establishments expanding has declined.

The Administrative, Support and Waste Management and the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sectors had the largest rate of change increases, with 61.3 percent and 40.1 percent increases, respectively.

The Delta's manufacturing sector had the largest decrease, losing more than 223,000 jobs or 67.3 percent of the cumulative sector jobs.

"This report adds further proof to what many of us have been saying for a while now - small businesses and entrepreneurs are the past, present and future of the Delta economy," Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said, "Simply put, it's the folks that start and expand local small businesses who create long-standing jobs in the region. That's why, if we want to have a stronger Delta economy in the future, all of us need to double down on our efforts to support - and grow - innovation and entrepreneurship across the region today."

Dr. James Stapleton, commenting on the results, said. "To be competitive and sustain economic growth in the new economy, we must invest in the creation of local systems that develop and support local innovators and entrepreneurs, to build more competitive, job-creating businesses."

In response to the findings, the DRA will partner with key economic, business, civic and political leaders to invest in infrastructure that systematically increases and supports entrepreneurs and the small business environment.

The report analyzed unique data from the 2010 National Establishment Time-Series (NETS)  database generated from Dun & Bradstreet information to assess some of the key trends driving employment. The NETS database utilizes annual "snapshots" taken each January of over 40 million establishments throughout the country. The unique qualities of the database allowed the  examination of how jobs have been created and lost in the DRA region in the eighteen-year period of January, 1992 – January, 2010.

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