Is It Insane to Start a Business During Coronavirus? Millions of Americans Don’t Think So.

The pandemic forced hundreds of thousands of small businesses to close. For Madison Schneider, it was a good time to start a new one.

The 22-year-old in Haviland, Kan., opened Lela’s Bakery and Coffeehouse on Sept. 12, naming it after her grandmother. It has been busy every day since, she said. “It just felt like the right thing to do,” Ms. Schneider said.

Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade, according to government data, seizing on pent-up demand and new opportunities after the pandemic shut down and reshaped the economy.

Madison Schneider takes an order at her new business, Lela’s Bakery & Coffeehouse, in Haviland, Kan. It opened on September 12.



Photo:

Shane Brown for The Wall Street Journal

Applications for the employer identification numbers that entrepreneurs need to start a business have passed 3.2 million so far this year, compared with 2.7

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