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Ohio has second highest annual new business filings

Ohio saw 179,636 new business filings in 2022.

Last year saw big announcements from big businesses like Honda and Intel — but Ohio has also seen a record-number of filings to start small businesses.

Anyone can head to the secretary of state’s website to file for a new business for $99.

2022 was the second highest on record for filings to start a new business in Ohio. The state saw nearly 180,000 new businesses created. That’s only topped by 2021’s 1970,010 new filings.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said this is a good sign as nearly 50% of Ohioans work for small businesses.

“There’s nothing small about small business,” he said.

What’s especially remarkable is this growth is occurring during a time of economic uncertainty. To LaRose, that shows how resilient Ohioans are.

“Ohio entrepreneurs are showing that even though there’s inflation, even though there are workforce challenges, even though there are supply chain difficulties, they know that Ohio is a good place to grow your business,” LaRose explained.

According to the secretary of state’s website, 2019, 2020, and 2021 were all record-setting years, with 2021 having the most filings. LaRose said anecdotally he believes that the COVID-19 pandemic may have spurred some of the fervor behind the number of filings.

“There was a pent up energy out there as people were living through these challenges that we faced,” he said.

Kim Woodbury, director of the Miami Valley Small Business Development Center, said she believes similarly.

“We’ve been very busy the past couple of years, more so than before. And I think a lot of it was pandemic driven,” she said. “I think people lost jobs. People suddenly realized that they’re at risk.”

The Miami Valley SBDC provides free one-on-one business advising to small businesses at all stages, but particularly to individuals who are starting out or pre-venture.

They also offer classes and other tools to help entrepreneurs get their start. In past years, Woodbury said people didn’t tend to follow through after filing, especially once they took a class and realized how large the workload to run a business was.

But that’s not been the case quite as often since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It feels like we’re getting more people who are more serious that they’re going to go on,” Woodbury said. “They thought about it and they’re moving forward.”

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.