The province of Rome saw the opening of 5,375 small business activities in 2004, according to figures released by the national federation of artisans. In the centre of the city the number of businesses opening and closing was equal but on the outskirts of the city and in the outlying areas there was a noticeable increase in new businesses, particularly small building companies; more than 1,800 opened to do home improvements and restoration work and there were 83 new hairdressers and beauty parlours. There was a fall in the number of clothing manufacturers with 101 closing, and 142 carpenters and furniture manufactures shut during the year.

Of the new companies, more than a third are owned by foreign immigrants, mainly from Albania, China, Egypt, Poland and Rumania.