by J.D. Davidson
Ohio new business startups broke a downward trend in August, but not enough to return to levels from a year ago.
The state registered 15,815 new business filings in August, slightly higher than July, which represented a six-month low and four consecutive month of declines, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced.
LaRose continues to blame lawmakers in Washington for failing to address the nation’s inflation problem that he believes is leading to a lack of business startups and struggles for small business.
“The small business owners I speak with are doing everything they can to cope with inflation, but it’s still a big problem,” LaRose said. “Washington’s egregious spending only exacerbates the issue facing all Americans and continues to serve as a constant challenge for small businesses in Ohio.”
LaRose also pointed to the National Federation of Independent Business’ optimism index in August that said, “twenty-nine percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, a decrease of eight points from July’s highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1979.”
The same report, however, showed small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months rose 10 points from July, and the percentage of owners who expect real sales to be higher also grew by 10 points.
Overall, the NFIB optimism index rose 1.9 points in August to 91.8, marking the eighth straight month between the 49-year average of 98.
“The small business economy is still recovering from the pandemic while inflation continues to be a serious problem for owners across the nation,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are managing the rising costs of utilities, fuel, labor, supplies, materials, rent, and inventory to protect their earnings. The worker shortage is impacting small business productivity as owners raise compensation to attract better workers.”
Ohio’s August new business startups were a 2.7% increase from August 2021, but the state remains 18,383 behind the overall state startups in 2022 than at the same point last year.
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J.D. Davidson is a regular contributor to The Center Square. An Ohio native, Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.
Photo “Busy Restaurant” by Clem Onojeghuo.