New York business owners continued to find and pursue new opportunities despite the multiple obstacles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis released Monday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

“New Yorkers have always had a great entrepreneurial spirit and drive, and that was no different even during some of the more difficult times of the pandemic,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Policymakers should encourage small business growth, and particularly initiatives to spur entrepreneurship and foster successful businesses that reflect the diversity of our state.”

According to data from the Kauffman Institute, the share of New York’s population that started a new business was 12th highest among states in 2021.

DiNapoli’s report found greater income potential and being their own boss was the primary season for starting a business for 9 out of 10 New York entrepreneurs. More than 80% cited flexible hour and work-life balance.

DiNapoli’s report found that for 9 out of 10 New York business owners, being their own boss and greater income potential were the primary reasons they started their business. Over 80% cited flexible hours, work-life balance and the best avenue to promote their ideas as reasons.

The analysis said New York exceeds the nation in the share of businesses that are majority female and minority-owned, but they continue to represent less than one-quarter of all owners in the state, with Hispanic and Black business owners significantly underrepresented relative to their shares of New York’s population. In addition, New York lags the nation in the share of firms that are owned by veterans.

DiNapoli said promoting and expanding initiatives designed to assist small businesses is necessary, such as Empire State Development’s Division of Small Business.

The comptroller also said the state should ensure federal funds intended to assist small businesses under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a federal program established in 2010 to increase access to capital for traditionally underserved small businesses, are allocated efficiently and effectively.


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