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Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, few experts could have accurately predicted what was about to happen to the entrepreneurial landscape in North Carolina and across the nation. While the early days of the pandemic saw many businesses shutter and close their doors, few expected that over the next two years new business formations in North Carolina would be at an all-time high.
Since 2020, the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State has reported over 300,000 new businesses registered. In 2021 alone, the 178,300 new business creation filings were more than double the amount registered four years prior.
Join the NC Rural Center as we host the Secretary of State’s Office and several leading small business voices to dig into the data, trends, and observations on the ground behind the state’s rising trend in new business formations. We’ll also hear from state and federal leaders on what resources and policies are being discussed to support both these new entrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs across the state.

Session One

Riding a Record Wave: Data, Trends, and Observations Behind NC’s Rise in New Business Creation
Monday, May 2, 2022 @ 11:00 a.m. – Noon
This session will highlight data from the Secretary of State’s Office behind North Carolina’s record number of new business formations in 2020 and 2021, including what areas are seeing the largest growth in business creation, demographics of new business owners, survival rates, and more. We’ll then hear from several leading small business resource providers on what they’re hearing on the ground in main streets across the state.
Presentation by:
Secretary Elaine Marshall, NC Department of the Secretary of State
William “Bill” Toole, NC Department of the Secretary of State
Jose Alvarez, Prospera North Carolina
Tammie Hall, NC Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses
Anne Shaw, Small Business Center Network

Session Two

A Policy Perspective: Supporting North Carolina’s New and Existing Small Businesses
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
With a record number of new businesses operating in North Carolina, what are policymakers at both the state and federal level do to ensure the viability of the ecosystem moving forward? Join us to learn about resources available from both levels, and the policy opportunities being discussed to support NC’s small business ecosystem.
Presentation by:
Mike Arriola, U.S. Small Business Administration, NC District Director
NC Legislative Panel – TBA


Registration is free and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2022. A Zoom link will be emailed 24 hours in advance of the webinar.


Presenting Partners: