Sep 26, 2023 - News

New businesses in Portland area on upward trend

Data: Yelp; Note: Openings are for the core-based statistical area (the population center and surrounding communities) and are measured by new business listings on Yelp, added by businesses or Yelp users; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of businesses newly listed on Yelp across the Portland metro area continues a jagged climb out of the pandemic-driven shutdowns, with 437 openings in July, according to the company.

Why it matters: New business openings are a good measure of economic sentiment — people generally don't risk embarking on a new venture if they foresee economic peril ahead.

By the numbers: Yelp's July figures show a 20% increase in new business openings compared to this June — and a 22% increase from July 2022.

  • Compared to a year before the pandemic, new business listings on Yelp were 11% higher in July than in Jan. 2019.

Be smart: The City of Portland's monthly list of new businesses shows twice as many openings in July than Yelp.

  • Portland's list includes sales of existing businesses to new owners, and businesses that may have been previously operating but hadn't registered with the city, county or state.
  • Yelp business openings refer to new business listings on the platform. Business owners or Yelp users can add listings, and data may lag.

The big picture: Business openings nationwide have exceeded 2019 levels every month this year and are on track to beat 2022's all-time high, thanks to a surge in travel, events and get-togethers.

Meanwhile, there have been more business openings nationally among underrepresented communities every month compared to last year.

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