Calling all entrepreneurs, now is your time to shine!

Sean O’Neil is the Director of Economic Development at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and told Kare11:

In Minnesota, we've seen a really significant rise of 26% in applications for new businesses during the pandemic. It’s been a really big surprise, because if you look at past economic downturns, you typically see a drop in new business formation.

According to the US Census Bureau, Minnesota was seeing about 3,000 new applications for businesses every month, but in July of 2020 that number more than doubled to 6,348. That spike wasn't a one-time thing, since January of 2021 new businesses applications have been in the 4,000-6,000 range every month.

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Some of the reasons for all these new businesses and the changes people are making are being cited as:

  • Loss of employment due to the pandemic
  • A need for more schedule flexibility
  • Childcare needs
  • Ability to work from home
  • A huge shift in people being comfortable with technology like video calls

I personally was part of that increase. I started my own side business in 2021, sewing dog bandanas from the spare bedroom in my house. My reasons for it matched some given in the Kare 11 article, but mine was more of an accidental business than anything. I got a second-hand sewing machine, started making stuff for my own dog, and the next thing you know I had 30 dog bandanas sitting around my kitchen. For me, starting a business has been a creative outlet I didn't know I needed until I had it, and I've also been using it as a way to give back to animal shelters which feels really good.

A big high five to everyone who has started their own business this past year, or ever. It's a big leap of faith to pave your own path in this world, but so rewarding. Cheers to you!

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