Small Business Profile for Minnesota, February 2011

Minnesota’s small businesses are key to the state’s well-being.

They account for a significant share of the state’s economic production and hiring.

This profile from the SBA Office of Advocacy uses the latest available data to illustrate the status and contributions of Minnesota small businesses. (Note that a small business is defined as one with fewer than 500 employees.)

  • Small businesses totaled 494,788 in the state in 2008. Of these, 118,391 were employers, and they accounted for 49.5% of private-sector jobs in the state (Table 1). Small firms made up 97.9% of the state’s employers.
  • Minnesota’s real gross state product increased by 2% and private-sector employment decreased by 4.7% in 2009. By comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 0.7% and private-sector employment declined by 5.5%.
  • Business ownership is becoming more inclusive in the state. The number of both women and minority business owners has grown. In particular, minority-owned businesses numbered 31,115 in 2007, a 43.1% increase over 2002.
  • Minnesota’s small business employment has undergone major shifts in recent years (Table 2).
  • Minnesota’s businesses showed signs of stability and improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter (Table 3).

Data on all states and territories in the United States is available at

CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This is also part of a series of articles on How to Pick the Right Business Entity Type. These articles help you select the right business type for your circumstances.