Jefferson City sees boost in new business applications

New business is booming in cities across the country — and a study suggests the Jefferson City metro area is no exception.

The metropolitan statistical area, which encompasses the Capital City and several smaller communities nearby, saw a 24 percent increase in new business applications over the past two years and a 30.6 percent increase in 2021 alone, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The area saw 1,452 applications in 2021, a rate of around 9.6 new businesses per 1,000 residents.

According to research from Smartest Dollar, which compiled the federal data and stacked metros against one another, the area’s one-year increase outpaced the national rate.

The U.S. as a whole saw a 23.5 percent change for the year, though its two-year increase of 53 percent more than doubled the area’s rate. The country saw 5.3 million new business applications last year, with 16.18 new business applications per 1,000 residents.

Missouri ranked right in the middle among other states at No. 25. The Show-Me State’s number of new business applications increased for the single year by 20.3 percent and 43 percent for the past two years. There were 84,067 new business applications last year, amounting to 13.66 new business applications per 1,000 residents, according to the report.

Jefferson City was the highest-rated Missouri metro in terms of its one-year increase, according to the report’s ranking. St. Louis — which led the state in overall new business applications for 2021 with 42,869 and new business applications per 1,000 residents at 15.20 — saw the smallest one-year increase percentage-wise at 15.6 percent.

The St. Louis metro also led two-year changes with a near-48 percent increase in new business applications, according to the report.

The nearby Columbia area saw a 26 percent increase in new business applications for the year and a 40.7 percent increase over two years. The metro area’s new business footprint expanded by 2,287 applications for 2021, with 10.85 new business applications per 1,000 residents.

Prospective business owners filed 1,692 applications in Joplin last year, marking 9.3 applications per every 1,000 residents, with a one-year increase of 20.6 percent and a two-year increase of over 24 percent. The Springfield metro saw a 21 percent single-year increase in applications and a two-year hike of 34.7 percent. There were 2,287 new business applications in the area last year, according to the report, marking 12.26 applications per 1,000 residents of the area.

The Kansas City metro area received 32,012 new business applications last year, a 26.3 percent increase for 2021. Its two-year increase reached more than 43 percent, with 14.6 people for every 1,000 applying.

The St. Joseph area had the lowest number of new business applications last year at 985, still a 27 percent increase compared to the previous year. The area’s new business applications increased over the past two years by 43 percent, and there were slightly more than eight new applications for every 1,000 area residents.

The report entrepreneurs and start-ups were economic powerhouses for the nation as a whole. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates 31.7 million total startups nationwide, making up 13 percent of all business entities. The boom of capital and funding opportunities born from the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for new business creation, the report posits, as was the so-called “Great Resignation” that has seen an increase in workers leaving their jobs.

“Government stimulus, low interest rates, and fast-rising values for homes, stocks, and other assets through 2020 and 2021 gave more people access to the financial resources needed to start businesses,” the report read. “Another related factor was the Great Resignation, as record-high numbers of workers left jobs in search of better economic opportunities — many of whom started new businesses.”

The study also pointed to areas with low taxes and business-friendly policies, such as Wyoming and Delaware, which led the states in total new business applications.

Read the full report at

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