Study: San Antonio metro has nation's highest percentage of family-owned businesses

San Antonio is just one of three U.S. metros where more than a third of all businesses are family-owned.

click to enlarge Historic Market Square is among the many San Antonio spots full of family-owned businesses. - Shutterstock / Christian Hinkle
Shutterstock / Christian Hinkle
Historic Market Square is among the many San Antonio spots full of family-owned businesses.
From Southtown to the northern suburbs, the Alamo City is chock full of mom-and-pop shops.

Perhaps then it should come as no surprise a recent study found that the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro has the nation's highest percentage of family-owned businesses. To get its rankings New York-based online lending company On Deck compiled data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2023 Annual Business Survey and found that 34.11% of all SA-metro small businesses are in family hands.

Indeed, San Antonio was one of just three U.S. metros where more than a third of all businesses were family-owned.
The others are Fresno, California, and Oklahoma City, which ended up No. 2 and No. 3 on the list, respectively.

"You don't see any big box retailers in Gruene," Tammy Wood, founder of that Hill Country town's annual Small Business Saturday event, said in a written statement. "We are a city filled with small businesses, and a lot of them have been around for a while. So those shoppers are a big factor in what makes this city successful year-round."

For its part, the City of San Antonio encourages residents to buy local every holiday season as part of an annual campaign of the same name. For every $100 someone spends at a San Antonio-owned business, $68 gets cycled back into the local economy,  city officials told the Current.

Although the San Antonio metro is full of family-owned businesses, it's a bit of an outlier in the Lone Star State since only 30.08% of businesses statewide are in family hands. Indeed, Texas didn't even crack the study's list of top 10 states. The leading slot on that list belonged to South Dakota, where 41.52% of businesses are family owned.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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