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U.S. Business Starts Enjoyed Their Best Year Ever Amid Covid-19

  • Online stores are 2020’s largest source of business formations
  • Little more than a laptop needed to call oneself an e-tailer
Doug McCue prepares an order of coffee in Roswell, Georgia.
Doug McCue prepares an order of coffee in Roswell, Georgia.Photographer: Matt Odom/Bloomberg

The surge of U.S. business formations in the back half of 2020 has been one of the pandemic’s many surprises.

After cratering by 30% in the weeks following the March lockdowns, paperwork filed by prospective businesses started growing in June and finished the year ahead of 2019’s tally by almost a quarter, according to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis of federal tax documents.