PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — According to financial tech company SmartAsset, most of Oregon’s top counties for small business owners are not located in the Portland area.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that there are more than 33 million small businesses, or independent businesses with fewer than 500 staff members, across the U.S. In Oregon, there are more than 402,000 small businesses.
On both a state and a national level, these independent brands make up at least 99% of businesses overall. And although more small businesses have opened than closed in recent years, entrepreneurs in certain areas face unique struggles in comparison to small business owners in other places.
SmartAsset analyzed which U.S. counties were the best — and the worst — for independent businesses by examining factors such as the proportion of residents with small business incomes, the potential income tax burden for new residents and five-year changes for small business tax returns.
Within the U.S., the study found that counties in South Dakota, Arkansas and Texas are most suited for proprietors.
In Oregon, however, Deschutes County was first in line for small business statistics. The data shows that 28.96% of Deschutes County residents have small business incomes, and independent businesses generate about 13.02% of the income in general.
Hood River, Wallowa, Sherman and Clackamas counties took up the subsequent spots, while Multnomah County was placed at No. 8.
According to SmartAsset, 23.67% of Multnomah County locals have small business incomes and that group generates 9.48% of the income overall.
As Oregon’s largest county, Multnomah County is far more populated than the others that were deemed the best for small businesses. But the bigger population can also mean an increase in areas such as expenses and vandalism.
Earlier this year, the small business advocacy group Bricks Need Mortar asked Portland-based entrepreneurs to answer a survey on small business data. Of the 118 respondents, 79% said that their business was broken into at some point in 2022 and most said they didn’t receive any sort of repair assistance.
Multnomah County has since launched a grant program for small businesses who have faced vandalism since July 2022, but the program only benefits those east of I-205.