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A diverse, productive, and sustatinable economy.

by Marty
on 2/23/2011 @ 11:41am
The City has released it's Performance Management, 2010 Report to Citizens. Below is info on new businesses opening in Tacoma.

# Businesses Opened28602770237421212294
# Businesses Closed2460244610869601079
Net # of New Businesses400324128811611215

This is net gain for City of Tacoma, not total number of businesses.

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 11:50am
So if a huge investment firm with worldwide operations closes its local office but is replaced with 2 hot dog carts that would be a net gain for Tacoma?

by Jesse on 2/23/2011 @ 11:50am

by KevinFreitas on 2/23/2011 @ 11:55am
Thanks so much for sharing these numbers Marty! (I table-ified 'em for you) Even though they might not meet Fredo's Standard Data Model it's a good 35,000' view.

@fredo -- I'm sure there are more stats available but this is a great quick glance. I'm sure you could pour over data on the City website and get back to us with your report (with citations).

by NineInchNachos on 2/23/2011 @ 12:14pm

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 12:24pm
Kev, Marty's stats aren't bad and we should be happy that there is so much prosperity in Tacoma that many of us never see. But the raw data may be a little misleading. A garage sale and the Frank Russell Company are not the same thing anywhere in the universe...except in Marty's spreadsheet.

by Marty on 2/23/2011 @ 1:03pm
If every new business has only 1 employee (net 1200) and Frank Russell left with 900, it still a net gain in jobs. I would be interested in seeing how many of the FR employees are now new business owners.

It also shows faith in Tacoma's future.

by NineInchNachos on 2/23/2011 @ 1:10pm
an honest hot dog cart job in hand is better than two white collar criminal jobs in the bush.

by Erik on 2/23/2011 @ 1:13pm
Great information. True, the information does not include the size of the businesses.

However, The number of new businesses in the city is a useful outcome based measure to look at especially when looking at legislative priorities in the future.

Tacoma has spent a great percentage of it's effort in trying to lure the mega business to Tacoma. Perhaps the focus should be more weighted on helping small businesses.

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 1:16pm
Well, we don't know if the new businesses have employees or not. So we don't know if there is net gain in employment or not. I'd be interested to see a comparison in employment levels here in Tacoma over the last 5 years.

your table does seem to show diversity, I'll give it that.

by cisserosmiley on 2/23/2011 @ 1:34pm
finally WE are getting close...the next phase of discussion is - can these net 1200+ businesses remain open when 900 of our most valuable wage earners are not here, and if not, what should tacoma look like in the future with absolutely zero chance of replacing those 900 (before you criticize this comment please ask around your own network of investment pros and they can confirm). maybe tacoma is a scene where everyone owns a business? no matter how small? like a cottage industry village in modern american urban costumage?

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 2:34pm
Here are the Tacoma unemployment rates for the years in the table*

2006 5.1%
2007 4.6%
2008 8.3%
2009 9.2%
2010 9.2%

*all figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I conclude sadly, that there is no evidence that achieving incredible business formation numbers has any positive influence on employment levels.

by cisserosmiley on 2/23/2011 @ 3:19pm
if everyone owned a business the unemployment number would be 0% as it was in all of history until URBAN environs arose...

by NineInchNachos on 2/23/2011 @ 4:18pm
unemployment isn't working.

by NineInchNachos on 2/23/2011 @ 4:19pm
or is self-employed same as unemployed?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/23/2011 @ 4:48pm
Self-employed is the new black.

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 5:01pm
the two years with the lowest unemployment (06, 07) also had the lowest number of net new businesses.

the three years with the highest unemployment (08, 09, 10) also had the highest number of net new businesses.

my analysis, which probably isn't worth much, is that during times of robust employment not too many people go out and start new businesses. but when they get laid off many will find some little business to open when the unemployment checks run out. These new businesses are not engines of employment, just something for the worker to do while he's waiting for hiring to start up again. That's why we have so many new businesses in town, yet unemployment remains high.

by cisserosmiley on 2/23/2011 @ 6:14pm
it is true that unemployment leads to business openings...but let us not lose this opportunity to bridge the collective genious of feedtacoma...lets explore policy that will continue the opening of new biz-even little crappy ones and de-incentivise being an employee. economic history could then repeat itself...

by fredo on 2/23/2011 @ 6:24pm
I'm all about self employment cissero. I'm self employed myself.

the reason I pointed out that the new business startups enjoyed an inverse relation ship with the employment rate is that the title of the discussion implies that Tacoma has " a productive and sustainable economy." If, by referring to our economy as productive and sustainable, we mean lots of people with lawn mowers, squeegees, lemonade stands and chainsaw sharpening stands, etc. then clearly that's true. If we mean Tacoma has an abundance of family wage jobs with solid benefits that will continue long into the future, I think that's a bit of a stretch.

by cisserosmiley on 2/23/2011 @ 9:41pm
i totally agree, tacoma has a lack of family wage jobs with solid benefits. that's why WE should propagate those small businesses with civic coddling and reward the brave tacomanians whos industrious thrift could grow to be the next Russell or Nalley...