Spring fever has citizens eager to start new businesses all over the state. In March, Ohio citizens set a state record for new business license application filings.
Last month, Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office received 13,747 new business filings, beating the previous record by 873.
“It’s a significant milestone, and one that wouldn’t happen without a business environment that encourages entrepreneurs to take chances – to innovate and grow,” said LaRose. “We’re going to continue doing everything we can to empower Ohioans to succeed.”
In 2015, State Sen. Larry Obhof (R-Medina) proposed a bill that would cut business filing fees by 21 percent. The bill also implemented easier online government filing systems. It passed both houses with 100 percent of the vote.
There have been five records set since March 2017. Each record has surpassed the previous one by 30 to 600 filings. This past March’s filings were a 6.7 percent uptick from the previous record leaving Obhof ecstatic about the results.
There are many reasons for this sudden growth. Sen. Obhof attributed much of it to “across the board income tax cuts.”
“We eliminated the death tax, we had targeted tax cuts that benefited small businesses and really provided tax fairness to people who are sole proprietors,” Obhof said.
LaRose, however, cautioned that “filing as a business does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable, or create jobs.” LaRose made small businesses a major staple of his 2018 campaign, stating on his campaign website that two of three jobs are created by small businesses.
Andrew J. Kidd of the Buckeye Institute said in an email, however, that “the numbers are important for entrepreneurship and future economic growth.”
“While these new business entity filings are not all big companies opening operations in Ohio, they often are independent workers who want to be formally recognized as a business in the state, and this increase in entrepreneurship in Ohio is an important factor for future economic growth,” Kidd added.
The state has been raking in good news left and right. Last month saw the lowest unemployment in 18 years. Private sector wages have grown by 27.8 percent since 2010, surpassing the nation and the region. Additionally, in 2019 the state GDP grew by almost 50 percent in the last 10 years.
Sen. Obhof feels that small businesses are a crucial part of economic prosperity.
“The small businesses are the backbone of Ohio’s economy, obviously we like large businesses, large employers as well, but small businesses, local entrepreneurs who employ 10 or 12 or 20 people, those are the majority of employers in Ohio,” said Obhof.
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Mitch Shirley is a reporter for The Ohio Star and Battleground State News. Emails tips to [email protected]