After Boomers, Focus is on Millennials

Staten Island business bank regards dynamics of generations at crossroads


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Although new and young firms are the key drivers of economic growth, slowing business-creation rates are raising concerns in some quarters about the future of the economy.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, cites a demographics study about entrepreneurship in a younger generation's ascent and an aging generation's waning.

According to a new Entrepreneurship Policy Digest released by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., the two biggest demographic developments in America today – the aging of baby boomers and the maturation of millennials – could have a positive influence on the economy if public policy helps them reach their entrepreneurial potential.

So-called baby boomers were born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom between 1946 and 1964. Millennials, sometimes called Generation Y or the Net Generation, were born during the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Writing for the foundation, Jason Wiens and Emily Fetsch contend that “Changing demographic trends are altering the American economic landscape in ways that will affect the economy for years to come.”

Large numbers of workers are nearing traditional retirement age, and a new generation of young, highly educated workers is poised to take their place, they point out.

“The aging of baby boomers and the emergence of millennials are two of the biggest demographic developments in America today,” they write.

They add that these shifts are occurring at a time in which big questions remain about the strength and future of the U.S. economy.

The duo found that an increasing number of reports and data analyses revealed that rates of business creation have been slowing across the United States – a “troubling development since new and young businesses account for nearly all net new job creation.”

Demographics are not determinative, the writers observe, but they can help us understand where we are headed.

As boomers age, there is a question of whether they will embrace retirement or continue to engage in entrepreneurial ventures as they get older. As the oldest of the Millennials enter the peak age for entrepreneurship, the duo wonders, will entrepreneurial activity explode or continue to languish?

Reflecting the foundation's concerns about policy matters, Wiens and Fetsch say “the answers to these questions are unknown, but public policy will shape the environment in ways that will either facilitate new business creation and growth or make it harder for individuals in these demographic groups to achieve their entrepreneurial potential.”

Included among a number of Kauffman concerns is that high-tech startups being twice as likely to be founded by someone older than age 50 as opposed to someone younger than age 25.

Among issues facing millennials, the foundation includes their amount of student debt, a need for apprenticeships to provide critical job skills, universal retirement accounts that follow the individual to encourage risk taking, and tax incentives favoring long-term investments in startups and early-stage venture capital funds.

The foundation advocates policy changes that address debt and encourage the accumulation of assets thereby positioning millennials to contribute to an entrepreneurial revival.

It also cites some areas of potential controversy such as licensing barriers for entrepreneurs seeking to enter a market and non-compete agreements that it asserts often hinder entrepreneurs' taking advantage of previous industry experience to create a new company.


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office is in the community of Great Kills, and branches are in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at


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