Small Business Growth Trend

How are small businesses in the US doing? Here are the small business growth trends outlined in a report from online lender Kabbage. 

How have small businesses been doing in 2019?

Quite well according to a report on small business growth trends just released by online lender, Kabbage. 

The report, the Kabbage Small Business Revenue Index, shows that across the United States, small businesses had a median overall revenue growth of 15.7% in the first half of the 2019 calendar year. The growth, which was calculated by a methodology called the Kabbage Index Value (KIV) was seen in all industries and all states of the country. It represents a 22% increase compared to the same time period in 2018 and a large contrast from the second half of 2018 when small business revenue only grew 1.8 percent.

The report is important because it tracks ongoing financial performance information for the typical small businesses in the US – businesses that you’ll find in your neighborhood or your county, but not listed on any stock exchange. Of all the businesses evaluated, 83% had fewer than 10 employees. The report is also interesting because it looks at trends by location and also by NAICS industry classifications.

The Kabbage Index Value (KIV) methodology looks at cash flow data that is aggregated and anonymized from the more than 200,000 small businesses who are Kabbage customers. The median annual revenues of these companies in this report is $280,000. The index adjusts accordingly to the monthly median-revenue growth of small businesses. With an initial Kabbage Index Value of 100 in January 2017, small businesses’ median revenue has grown a total of 58% through June 30, 2019 and 63.06% by October 2019.

To analyze revenue trends by state, all 50 states and the District of Columbia were sorted based on the number of small businesses in each state according to the SBA. They were categorized into three groups, large, medium, and small states. The data reveals every cohort of small businesses by industry and state showed healthy revenue growth, indicating continued economic growth across all small business sectors through the end of 2019.

Among states that have more than 580K small businesses (the large state group), Ohio showed the highest KIV increase (20.6%) in the first half of 2019. Kentucky was a close second with a 20% KIV growth increase. The Ohio growth demonstrated in the Kabbage report is in line with economic data showing an increase in the number of small businesses with 5 or fewer employees in the state.

In the medium states group (states with between 250-580K small businesses), Alabama had the highest KIV increase (27.9%) in the first half of the year.  According to SBA figures, 99.4% of the businesses in Alabama are small businesses. Alabama’s economic health and growth into the first half of 2019 can be seen in several indicators: Job growth was higher in the state this year, hitting 1.8% — the fastest growth since 2005 — and Alabama’s unemployment rate hit a new record low of 3% in September 2019

The small states group is made up of states with less than 250K small businesses. Alaska was in the lead in terms of revenue growth, increasing 55 points from 141.8 to 196.9, and ending the first half of 2019 with a 38.8% increase.

The leading small business revenue growth sector for the first half of 2019 was construction. This sector had a 23.3% KIV increase for the first half of 2019. This is slightly lower than the 24.1% increase in revenue growth experienced in the first half of 2018.  Both years, the construction industry saw a sharp increase in month-to-month revenue growth from May to June, reflecting the seasonality of the industry.

The second largest growth rate among companies that the Kabbage report covered were those in the agriculture, mining, and utilities sectors, with a 19.1% increase in KIV.

What about your industry and your state? What do the numbers look like for businesses like yours?  How does they growth compare to your own business’s growth? The Kabbage Small Business Revenue Index includes a Business Revenue Growth interactive graph that gives you that information.  You can look at growth trends by a combination of date, industry and state.

While the Kabbage report only analyzes financial data of its customers, and therefore doesn’t represent all small businesses in the US, the growth rates it reports is in line with other economic data and with the general small business optimism reported by the NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends survey.

RELATED: How much do small businesses really earn?

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