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Charlotte was one them, according to the Kauffman Foundation's new Main Street Entrepreneurship Index.
Of the top 40 U.S. metros, only Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, experienced a decline in small business activity.
Coincidentally, small business activity decreased in only Tennessee at the state level.
"Following a post-recession downward and stagnant trend in small business activity, we're now seeing Main Street Entrepreneurship begin to rise," said E.J. Reedy, Kauffman Foundation Research and Policy director, during last week’s announcement. "This obviously is good news given that these small businesses make up 63 percent of all employer firms nationally."
The index accounts for the rate of business owners in the economy, or the percentage of adults owning a business on average per year, and regional established small business density, the number of firms older than five years with less than 50 employees divided by the population.
New York; Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; San Francisco; and Portland, Oregon ranked the five best metros for small business activity.
In the Big Apple, 5.57 percent of the adult population owned a small business as their main job, up .14 percent from 2014, and there were 1,267.1 small businesses per 100,000 residents, 24.1 more than last year. By contrast, Charlotte’s rate of business owners was 5.64 percent, down .69 percent, and its established small business density was 884.8, up 14.5 businesses per 100,000 residents.
Demographically, Portland had the highest rates of female small business owners and older owners between age 55 and 64, while Miami had the highest rate of young owners from age 20 to 34.
Among the 25 largest states, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey boasted the highest activity.
The North Star State had a 7.17 percent business owners rate, up .10 percent, and a 1,229.5 established small business density, up 25.3 businesses per 100,000 residents. Tennessee’s rate dropped .40 percent to 5.44 percent, and its density increased 7.1 to 829.3 businesses per 100,000 residents.
Colorado had the highest rates of women and older small business owners, while Florida the highest rate of young owners.
Among the 25 smallest states, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming had the most activity.
Vermont had the highest rate of female small business owners and South Dakota the highest rates of both old and young owners.
Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.