This paper studies the relationship between participation in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) to the number of private establishments and new housing structure permits in America’s largest cities. During the last three nationwide recessions (pre-COVID), the number of SNAP participants rose in America’s ten largest cities over ninety-six percent of the time. This paper specifically looks at the counties where the ten largest cities in the United States are located. By looking at private establishments, this paper aims to examine the impact increasing SNAP participation has on recovery of small private businesses from a recession. It also examines how small business closures can impact SNAP participation.
Ideally this research will help economists think about policy concerning SNAP and similar programs. As stated above, there tends to be more need and demand for SNAP during recessions, due to the increased number of people facing food insecurity. But many remain SNAP participants long after recessions are over. Thus, this papers tries to better understand how SNAP participation affects the surrounding economy and vice versa.