It isn't just Amazon and Microsoft powering Seattle's economy. The metro, as well as Portland, is one of America's small-business leaders.

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Small-business activity finally dug out of the damage of the Great Recession this year, at least according to the Main Street Entrepreneurship study from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The Kauffman small-business index calculates the percentage of adults who own a small business in a region in a year, as well as the density of these enterprises that are at least five years old. Small is 50 employees or less.

Seattle ranked 10th and Portland fifth among 40 major metropolitan areas, although both fell a notch from 2014. The leaders were New York, Boston, Providence and San Francisco.

Population size was not necessarily a plus: Dallas, Houston and Phoenix were among the laggards. Charlotte and Nashville were the only two metros with a decline in activity.

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Portland also had the highest rate of female and older adult business owners and was near the top in small businesses owned by people age 20 to 34.

Washington ranked seventh among the 25 most populous states, the same as last year. No. 1 was Minnesota and No. 25 was Arizona (“low taxes and light regulation” Texas was next to last). Among smaller states, Oregon ranked 11th, Idaho 12th and Alaska 15th.

You can download metro, state and national reports here.


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