New York’s New Business Boom

Nearly twice as many new businesses were started in the five boroughs in 2011 than in 1991, and the lion’s share were started outside of Manhattan.

Much attention has been paid to the dramatic growth in tech startups in New York City over the past five years. But the amazing rise of Silicon Alley represents just one part of an incredible 20-year explosion in new entrepreneurial ventures in the five boroughs. In fact, nearly twice as many new businesses were incorporated in the city in 2011 than in 1991—and, interestingly, the fastest growth in startups over the past two decades has occurred outside of Manhattan.

In 2011, an astounding 65,658 businesses filed incorporation papers in New York City, an 86 percent jump from 1991, when just 35,218 businesses opened their doors. Of all the boroughs, Manhattan boasts the largest number of startups incorporated in 2011 (22,756) and the most startups per capita (143 startups per 10,000 residents). However, the Bronx experienced the fastest growth over the past two decades (a 305 percent increase) while Brooklyn was the only borough to see a spike in new business incorporations in the post-recession period of 2007 to 2011.

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