Yelp: More than a half-million new businesses opened this past year

    More than 500,000 new businesses opened across the U.S. in the past year, new data from Yelp shows, as the economy recovered from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In its Economic Average Report, released this morning and compiled from the listings on its service, Yelp saw 516,754 new business openings from April 1, 2020, through March 31, remarkably down only 11% year-over-year. About 28%, 146,486, were in the first three months of 2021, down just 2% from a year earlier, CNBC reports

    “Our data shows that more new businesses opened in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2021 than at any other period over the last 12 months, providing an optimistic outlook that local economies are back on solid ground after a tumultuous year,” says Justin Norman, Yelp data science vice president. 

    Yelp’s data found that more than 69,000 new restaurants and food businesses opened in the past year. While that’s down 14% from the prior year, it’s still strong given that industry was among the hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdowns in the early days of 2020 and the subsequent virus mitigation measures.

    “It seems like the year-over-year rise in new business openings mirrors the current housing market frenzy,” Norman says. “People are inspired to take advantage of low rents and create new jobs by putting their personal savings towards starting a new business venture.” See the report.