Low overhead, high growth: Ah, must be a 'microbusiness'

Businesses owned and operated by one or two people – but with no payroll – are on the rise, according to new data released by the US Census Bureau. These modern "mom and pop" enterprises experienced a 4.7 percent growth rate during the most recent period studied (2003-04), and now constitute more than 70 percent of the nation's 27 million-plus businesses. The leading incubator for such start-ups: Florida, with a 7.6 percent growth rate, followed by Georgia, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Among the fastest-growing types of nonemployer businesses (which often are part-time ventures) are the following, with the percentage of increase for each, according to the Census Bureau:

Finishing contractors in the building trades: 22.5%
Internet service providers: 18.7%
Nail salons: 14.7%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses (including Internet-based consumer trade): 12.7%
Lessors of real estate: 9.7%
Formal wear and costume rental stores: 8.0%
Motorcycle dealers: 7.4%

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