The Austin Chamber recently highlighted some interesting findings from the inaugural release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS). The survey provides a socioeconomic snapshot of business owners by race, ethnicity, gender, and veteran status.
Austinites, pat yourselves on the back. Austin, TX ranks high nationally in many areas. Compared to other major U.S. metropolitan cities Austin, TX ranks in the top ten in startups, women-owned firms, minority entrepreneurs, and business owners with STEM degrees, just to name a few. The report also gives interesting insights into what business owners list as factors that negatively affect their profitability.
Here are the highlights from the Austin Chamber report: CenTex Economy in Perspective: Entrepreneurship, by Beverly Kerr.
Startups account for a larger share of businesses in Austin than in nearly all major U.S. metros in 2017 and Austin ranks 6th for new businesses per 1,000 population.
In Austin, 8,824, or 21.8%, of employer firms are female-owned, compared to 19.7% nationally. Among the 50 largest metros, Austin ranks seventh for percentages of female-owned firms and employees working for female-owned firms.
Hispanics account for 8.8% of firm owners in Austin compared to 5.6% nationally.
Austin ranks 5th among the top 50 metros for business owners with STEM degrees.
Austin also leads the pack in the percentage of business owners employing contractors, subcontractors, independent contractors, or outside consultants (43.2%). That is more than any other large metro. Nationally, only 29.7% of businesses employed this class of worker.
Austin business owners are more experienced, in terms of having owned one or more businesses prior to establishing, purchasing, or acquiring their current business than business owners in nearly every other major metro. In Austin, 40.0% of business owners have owned a prior business. Only Las Vegas ranks higher, with 40.4% sharing this characteristic.
So what are the factors that business owners feel negatively impact profitability? Topping the list is taxes. In Austin (37.1%), as well as nationally (37.3), business owners state taxes as having a negative impact on profitability more than anything else surveyed. Austin business owners cite two other factors that negatively impact their profitability: finding qualified labor and/or changes or updates to technology. “Finding qualified labor is cited by 23.4% in Austin and 20.7% nationally. Changes or updates to technology are cited by 7.3% of Austin businesses compared to 5.3% nationally.”
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