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

According to the latest statistics, there are 63,661 small businesses in Kern County, CA. These small businesses make up nearly 99.96 percent of all businesses in the county.
By Neilsberg Research January 24, 2023
The number of small businesses in Kern 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 Kern 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 Kern County, CA?

Key small business stats

Our research yielded several striking findings related to the number of small businesses in Kern 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 63,661 in Kern County, CA.
  • The small businesses make up nearly all (99.96 percent) businesses in Kern County, CA.
  • Most of Kern County’s small businesses are very small as 96.63 percent of all businesses did not have employees or have fewer than 20 employees.
  • As per the Non employer statistics, self-employment in Kern County, CA increased by 16.58% over the last 8 years. .  
  • Between 2021 and 2022, the number of small businesses in Kern County, CA increased by 1,093 ( 1.75% ). Overall the number of small businesses marked a a growth of 8,112 ( 14.60% ) between 2014 and 2022.

Kern County, CA: Small businesses with no employees

As of Sep 2022, there were 50,492 small businesses with no employees in Kern County, CA. Compared to 2014, that is an increase of 7,182 ( 16.58% ) 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 increased by 939 from being 49,553 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 Kern 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 Kern County, CA

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

Year Reported Businesses With No Employees
2016 43,515
2017 44,623
2018 45,226
2019 45,491
2020 47,788
2021 49,553
2022 50,492

Kern 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 650 ( 6.25% ). In 2014 the number of businesses were 10,401, which increased to 11,051 in 2022.

Overall most of the small businesses in Kern County, CA are very small, and have less then 20 employees. These micro businesses account for nearly 83.74% 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 Kern 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 10,379
2017 10,493
2018 10,569
2019 10,657
2020 10,828
2021 10,894
2022 11,051

Kern 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 Kern County, CA the number of small businesses with 20 - 99 employees increased from being 1,578 in 2014 to 1,863 in 2022. In percentage terms the change is an increase of approximately 18.06%.

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 Kern 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 1,673
2017 1,693
2018 1,787
2019 1,794
2020 1,826
2021 1,857
2022 1,863

Kern 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 Kern County, CA the number of such businesses decreased from 260 in 2014 to 255 in 2022.

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 Kern County, CA

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

Year Reported Businesses With 100-499 Employees
2016 263
2017 270
2018 265
2019 251
2020 248
2021 264
2022 255

References

Data used for the report on number of small business in the Kern 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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