Nearly every county in Alabama adds more businesses during & after the pandemic than before

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The pandemic stopped a lot but apparently, it had very little impact on new businesses opening.

The state saw a huge surge in new business licenses, according to the Secretary of State's...
The state saw a huge surge in new business licenses, according to the Secretary of State's office.(WAFF)

We learned from the Secretary of State’s Office, the number of new business licenses issued in the middle of the pandemic is staggering.

Every single county, but one in south Alabama, Clay County, had more businesses formed in the 15 months after the pandemic, than the 15 months before.

For Deidre Thomas, the pandemic took her from a career in the air to doing hair.

“We didn’t know if the airlines were going to get the bailout, were we going to all just get furloughed, we’re we going to get fired,” Thomas said.

Thomas spent 14 years as a flight attendant and when the pandemic brought the majority flights to screeching halt, she decided to take things into her own hands.

She opened up Jetsetters Spalon on West Mobile Street in Florence in May.

“That was the perfect time to take destiny into my hands, become my own boss, be the leader of a business, and help my friends and family, employed them,” Thomas said.

And the numbers make it clear, thousands of other Alabamians did the same thing.

In the 15 months before the pandemic the state added 35,561 businesses, and from March 2020 until June 1 2021, 59,904 new businesses were born.

“People have taken this opportunity to make it work. We want to create employment for ourselves and others. I’m happy to be a new business owner, I’m proud of all the other businesses that have opened,” Thomas said.

GoFar USA Park, now open in Decatur, is another example.

Owner Emily Fagerman says opening during the pandemic ended up being a great time because people were ready to get outside and have some fun. And she says it’s been a big success so far.

“People were just tired of being stuck in their houses and wanted to be out. And it felt comfortable being outdoors,” Fagerman said.

The outdoor recreation business is open to families and groups, offering rock climbing, paint ball, ziplining and much more!

“We’re getting a lot busier and looking forward to even having more people find out about us,” Fagerman said.

You can see the full breakdown of every county below:

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