New Business Applications are Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

June 5, 2024

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

New Business Applications are Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

After a spike in new business openings occurred at the start of the pandemic, the high rate of new business applications has endured. For example, the number of business applications received in April 2024 is greater than any year from 2004 to 2020. There were over 432,000 business applications in April, including more than 139,000 high-propensity applications.

Small business delinquencies are still comparably lower than in 2022 and the Great Recession, but they have been slowly and steadily increasing since mid-2022. The rate of small business loans 31 to 90 days past due is just under 2%, and for 91 to 180 days past due, the rate is under 1%.

Throughout 2023, demand for small business loans fell and has consistently been low. At the same time, banks have been tightening their credit standards. That is still the theme in 2024, but it has been lightening up recently.

SBA Office of Advocacy May Economic Bulletin
U.S. Census Bureau Business Formation Statistics