Eastern Oregon Has High Percentage of Small Businesses

by Tony Wendel

November 8, 2019

Eastern Oregon, comprising Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties, has a lot of small businesses. This is fairly typical of rural areas. There were a little fewer than 5,200 private-sector firms within the Eastern Oregon area in the first quarter of 2019. Two out of three firms in the area have four employees or less (3,465 firms) and only 2.6 percent (133 firms) have 50 or more employees.
Even though there is such a high percentage of small businesses within Eastern Oregon, about 56 percent of the area’s approximately 56,000 private jobs are in larger firms with 50 or more employees. About one-quarter of jobs are in companies with 10 to 49 employees, while almost one-fifth are in businesses with nine or fewer employees.


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