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L.A. County Among Most Dependent on Small Businesses

A study by New York fintech consulting company SmartAsset has ranked Los Angeles County fourth in California in its economic dependence on small businesses. That’s important now because small businesses are being disproportionately hurt by the COVID-19 outbreak and the near shutdown of the economy. The data could help predict which counties’ economies will suffer the most due to the pandemic. The study includes a map of every county in California ranked in order of their concentration of small businesses. This was calculated by comparing the number of people who reported small business income compared to the total tax-filing population of the county. With 29 percent of its population reporting small business income, Los Angeles County trailed only Marin, Nevada and Mono Counties, in that order. SmartAsset has done equivalent studies for the other 49 states and compiled the resulting data into an interactive U.S. map. According to SmartAsset spokesperson Steve Sabato, the map was published in late 2019 using 2017 tax data from the Internal Revenue Service and the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. It was created to provide a snapshot of small business presence and income across the country. “We release these studies to get people thinking and talking about big financial decisions like buying a home, preparing for retirement or running a small business,” Sabato told the Business Journal in an email. Ventura County is a bit farther down the list at No. 18. According to the study, 25 percent of its population reported small business income. The nation’s top county for small businesses is Throckmorton County in Texas, where 32 percent of the population reported small business income.

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