Number of Small Businesses in Alameda County, CA: 2023 Outlook

According to the latest statistics, there are 186,619 small businesses in Alameda County, CA. These small businesses make up nearly 99.94 percent of all businesses in the county.
By Neilsberg Research January 24, 2023
The number of small businesses in Alameda County, CA

As per the U.S. Small Business Administration a small business is defined as one with fewer than 500 employees. To learn more about the trends related to the number of small businesses in Alameda County, we’ve analyzed all of the most essential data reported by relevant surveys across various departments at the U.S. Census Bureau. 

How many small businesses are there in Alameda County, CA?

Key small business stats

Our research yielded several striking findings related to the number of small businesses in Alameda County, CA:

  • According to the 2022 Small Business profile from the Office of Advocacy, U.S. SBA and Statistics of US Businesses, the number of small businesses totaled 186,619 in Alameda County, CA.
  • The small businesses make up nearly all (99.94 percent) businesses in Alameda County, CA.
  • Most of Alameda County’s small businesses are very small as 96.48 percent of all businesses did not have employees or have fewer than 20 employees.
  • As per the Non employer statistics, self-employment in Alameda County, CA increased by 21.09% over the last 8 years. .  
  • Between 2021 and 2022, the number of small businesses in Alameda County, CA decreased by 4,228 ( 2.22% ). Overall the number of small businesses marked a a growth of 29,468 ( 18.75% ) between 2014 and 2022.

Alameda County, CA: Small businesses with no employees

As of Sep 2022, there were 145,962 small businesses with no employees in Alameda County, CA. Compared to 2014, that is an increase of 25,422 ( 21.09% ) in the number of self employed population in the county.

Most recently, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of small businesses with no employees decreased by 4,483 from being 150,445 in 2021.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, across the United States, we witnessed an ongoing economic trend of the rise of gig economy and the beginning of the great resignation. The biggest impact was found in the economic activity related to the small businesses with no employees.

Its impact in Alameda County, CA is clearly reflected in the below chart, displaying number of small businesses with no employees between 2016 and 2022 (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2
The number of small businesses with no employees in Alameda County, CA

Below is a table showing the number of businesses with no employees since 2016.

Year Reported Businesses With No Employees
2016 124,216
2017 132,693
2018 139,261
2019 143,612
2020 146,922
2021 150,445
2022 145,962

Alameda County, CA: Small businesses with less than 20 employees

Between 2014 and 2022, the number of small businesses with less than 20 employees increased by 3,080 ( 9.90% ). In 2014 the number of businesses were 31,114, which increased to 34,194 in 2022.

Overall most of the small businesses in Alameda County, CA are very small, and have less then 20 employees. These micro businesses account for nearly 83.88% of the total businesses with employees in the county.

The trend in the number of small businesses with less than 20 employees is visible in the below chart ( Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3
The number of small businesses with less than 20 employees in Alameda County, CA


Here is a comprehensive overview of the number of small businesses with less than 20 employees since 2016:

Year Reported Businesses With 1-19 Employees
2016 31,317
2017 31,961
2018 32,649
2019 32,973
2020 33,672
2021 34,026
2022 34,194

Alameda County, CA: Small businesses with 20 - 99 employees

Of the 3,195 counties reviewed across the United States, the small businesses with 20 - 99 employees was found to be resilient set with respect to the impact of the pandemic. 

In Alameda County, CA the number of small businesses with 20 - 99 employees increased from being 4,671 in 2014 to 5,441 in 2022. In percentage terms the change is an increase of approximately 16.48%.

We have charted the number of small businesses with 20 - 99 employees since 2016 ( Exhibit 4):

Exhibit 4
The number of small businesses with 20 to 99 employees in Alameda County, CA

Over the last 7 years, the number of small businesses with 20-99 employees is tabulated below:

Year Reported Businesses With 20-99 Employees
2016 4,863
2017 4,991
2018 5,136
2019 5,230
2020 5,348
2021 5,379
2022 5,441

Alameda County, CA: Small businesses with 100 - 499 employees

As per the U.S. Small Business Administration, the businesses with 100 - 499 employees are the largest businesses eligible to be classified under the category of being called as a small business. In Alameda County, CA the number of such businesses changed from 826 in 2014 to 1,022 in 2022.

An increase in the number of these businesses is a good economic indicator for a county. With an increase of 196 such businesses between 2014 and 2022 shows that this is a great county for business growth.

Full set of data related to the number of small businesses with 100 - 499 employees is shown in the below chart ( Exhibit 5):

Exhibit 5
The number of small businesses with 100 to 499 employees in Alameda County, CA

You can also find the table below with the number of small businesses with 100 - 499 employees in Alameda County, CA:

Year Reported Businesses With 100-499 Employees
2016 840
2017 856
2018 909
2019 935
2020 965
2021 997
2022 1,022

References

Data used for the report on number of small business in the Alameda County, CA was sourced from the following programs, surveys and reports within the US Census Bureau: 

1) Annual small business profile published by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy.

2) Nonemployer Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

3) County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau

4) Statistics of US Businesses, U.S. Census Bureau

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