Metro Atlanta small business bankruptcy filings decrease
In the metro Atlanta area, small business bankruptcies decreased during the fourth quarter of 2010. This marked the fewest number of small business bankruptcy filings since the first quarter of 2008, when the economic recession was beginning to take hold in Georgia and throughout the country.
According to a report from Atlanta-based Equifax, there were 231 small business bankruptcy filings in the last quarter of last year. Equifax, an information solutions analytics company, defines a small business as one with less than 100 employees. That number is the lowest since the third quarter of 2007, when there were 163 small business bankruptcies.
Since then, filings have increased in every three-month quarter until the second quarter of 2009, when filings peaked at 425. Bankruptcies then began a gradual decline which has continued to the present day. According to Reza Barazesh, senior vice president of Equifax Commercial Information Services, this is a positive sign for a state that has had few reports of good news related to the recession or the economy. “Bankruptcy trends are easing and creating an environment that is more conducive to cultivating small business growth,” she said. The Equifax report indicates that bankruptcies also declined in 10 important metro areas across the country.
Because such businesses employ many metro Atlanta residents, the drop in their bankruptcies is good news for a job market that continues to struggle. In February, Georgia’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, remaining above the national unemployment rate for the 41st consecutive month. Currently, the national rate is 8.9 percent.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Small business bankruptcies down, survey says”, David Markiewicz, 16 March 2011