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New Businesses 2024: Entrepreneurs Keep Knocking on the Door

The list that follows this introduction contains all the new businesses, new locations, new owners and new concepts for businesses in Door County from June 1, 2023 through May 31, 2024. 

A glance at what the list contains by the numbers:

31 – New businesses on the peninsula

20 – New businesses that are located north of Carlsville

16 – New businesses that are restaurants

 7 – Existing businesses that changed locations

17 – Existing businesses with new owners

 2 – Existing businesses that changed concepts dramatically enough to warrant notice

57 – Business changes (new, new owners, new locations, new concepts)

To create this list, we pool the brain power of all Peninsula Pulse employees. We’ve also done stories on almost half of the new businesses – find the hyperlink if you’re reading this online, or go to doorcountypulse.com and search for the business name if you’re reading this in print.

The business activity during 2023-24 is slightly above the five-year average for Door County, with the low year of activity 2019-2020, and the high 2020-2021.

A Look Back

If the headlines are intended to encapsulate and summarize the story’s content – and they are – then it’s interesting to look back at those that have characterized our annual business-list issue.

The headlines for those issues were as follows.

2019-2020 – Amid Uncertainty, Businesses Charge Forward

In the face of the public-health crisis and financial wreckage of COVID-19, local residents continued to take chances. That year on the Door, 47 businesses started anew, changed hands or switched locations. That’s a lot of movement during a time when a virus brought everything to a stillpoint. 

2020-2021 – New Businesses Open Doors

The local-business theme that emerged this year was the number of people across a wide range of ages who said they were prodded by the pandemic to reassess their priorities, resulting in the birth of many a new business. That year, 67 businesses were new, changed hands or switched locations: 20-plus over the previous year.

2021-2022 – Buy-Local Options Have Grown Again 

Rapid inflation, soaring oil prices, global instability and stubborn supply shortages were pummeling us. At the same time, thousands of jobs were added; consumers spent at high rates; and business investments and wages rose at a clip not seen in decades.

During that economic standoff of a year, 63 businesses started anew, changed hands or switched locations in Door County.

2022-2023 – Starts, Changes and New Ownership Temper

New-business starts and changes tempered to 45. Perhaps the only type of Door County business for which that was not the case was restaurants. The pandemic was in the rear-view mirror, and inflation and gas prices were on the downward trend, even as interest rates and unemployment rates rose. Maybe business owners were exhausted by the volatility of it only: there were only 45 total changes in local businesses, whether new businesses, new owners or new locations.