Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Business

Senator's claim that U.S. business closures topped starts is unsupported

The statement

"More businesses went out of business last year than were started for the first time in our history."

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., June 2, on NBC's Meet the Press Daily

The ruling

Some Republicans might have misgivings about Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, but Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., isn't one of them. Perdue told NBC News that Trump has what the country needs.

"We have the lowest worker participation rate since 1978," Perdue told host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily. "Poverty rate hasn't changed. More businesses went out of business last year than were started for the first time in our history, Chuck. This is an economic fiscal policy that is failing, and I believe this guy (Trump) will absolutely set us in the right direction to change that."

We wanted to look at that statement about more businesses closing than opening last year.

Perdue communications director Megan Whittemore sent us charts of business births and deaths posted by Gallup and the Brookings Institution, but neither had numbers beyond 2011. Whittemore said, "The trend is still downward of where it should be, and that's the point the senator is making."

But Perdue said the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, not that growth was lackluster or some variation of that theme. And the data after 2011 paint a different picture from what Perdue presented.

The U.S. Census Bureau collects data on new businesses forming and businesses closing as part of a project called Business Dynamics Statistics.

The Census data undercut Perdue's claim in several ways.

1. The numbers only go back to 1977. Perdue said, "More businesses went out of business last year than were started for the first time in our history."

No one has exact figures on what happened before 1977. But it is likely that in the depths of the Great Depression during the 1930s, more firms folded than were created.

2. The figures for "last year" — 2015 — aren't available. They're not available for 2014, either.

3. The limited data do show a few years when more businesses were closing than opening, but not for the most recent years.

In 1981, the country lost about 31,000 more businesses than were created. That trend reversed in 1982 and stayed that way until 2009. That year, and in 2010, more businesses closed than opened.

That flipped again the following year. In 2011, the country saw a tiny gain of about 6,000 businesses. That was followed by net gains of about 40,000 in 2012 and nearly 70,000 in 2013.

Ian Hathaway, a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow who has studied patterns of business openings and closings, said Perdue's statement is incorrect.

"He is making a stale statement," Hathaway said.

We rate this claim False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
TECO prepares to open solar farm in Balm

TECO prepares to open solar farm in Balm

BALM — Tampa Electric will open one of four new solar projects planned for Hillsborough County next month, with a goal of generating enough electricity for 12,000 homes in the area.TECO constructed its Balm Solar project on 548 acres in south Hillsbo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Is the future of department stores off-price? Macy’s Backstage opens in Tampa

Is the future of department stores off-price? Macy’s Backstage opens in Tampa

TAMPA — Kishia Gainey pushes a blue shopping cart while eyeing a wall of shoes.The mother of four is back-to-school shopping at a Ross Dress for Less in a Citrus Park plaza. She’s already nabbed a pair of D.C. brand sneakers for her teen son that are...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

BOLTS: BREW FESTI was going to list all the craft brewers whose wares will be on offer at 7 p.m. Friday at this year’s Bolts Brew Fest, a Tampa Bay Lightning benefit for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. But with 50 local breweries alone, and another ...
Published: 08/15/18
Royal Caribbean will no longer allow emotional support animals on cruises

Royal Caribbean will no longer allow emotional support animals on cruises

In a recent policy change, international cruise line Royal Caribbean has announced it will not allow emotional support animals on its cruise ships effective immediately.The cruise line said emotional support animals, also known as therapy animals, we...
Published: 08/15/18
Tampa ranked third best city in U.S. to retire; St. Petersburg is 23rd

Tampa ranked third best city in U.S. to retire; St. Petersburg is 23rd

Tampa Bay has been named one of the best places for people to retire in the United States, according to a new ranking by credit-monitoring website WalletHub .The financial advice website released its ranking after comparing data collected from more ...
Published: 08/15/18
Retail sales rising at strong clip

Retail sales rising at strong clip

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Americans shopped at a healthy pace in July, buying more cars, clothes and appliances, evidence that confident consumers are helping drive robust economic growth. Retail sales rose at a 0.5 percent annual rate in July, af...
Published: 08/15/18
Girl Scouts announce new gluten free cookie flavor

Girl Scouts announce new gluten free cookie flavor

Move over, Thin Mints — there’s a new cookie in town. And this one is gluten free.Girl Scouts of the USA announced a new flavor Monday. Available during the upcoming 2019 cookie season, Caramel Chocolate Chip "features rich caramel, semi-sweet chocol...
Published: 08/15/18
Tampa General ranked Florida’s second-best hospital in U.S. News study

Tampa General ranked Florida’s second-best hospital in U.S. News study

Tampa General Hospital was ranked as Florida’s second-best hospital in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Hospital Rankings released Tuesday, while Moffitt Cancer Center was named the country’s eighth-best cancer hospital.The rankings, which analy...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Wells Fargo to close two Pinellas County banks as part of nationwide closure

Wells Fargo to close two Pinellas County banks as part of nationwide closure

Wells Fargo will close two of its branches in Pinellas County as part of a nationwide closure that reflects a continued shift toward online banking.The two branches — one in Redington Shores and one at the Dunedin Plaza — are the only ones in Tampa B...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

For nearly 40 years, while wearing an eclectic mix of fashion, a mechanical gorilla has stood outside State Vacuum of Tampa, waving hello to Kennedy Boulevard motorists.His name is Bernie Apestein. "That gorilla has been a mainstay" said David Epstei...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18