Last year was another record-breaking year for new businesses forming in Ohio, according to a new report from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, with a little more than 105,000 new business filings in 2016.
It was the seventh consecutive year Ohio saw a record growth in new entities filing to do business, creating a 30.8 percent increase in filings from 2010 to 2016.
Last year alone roughly 97,700 new businesses registered with the Secretary of State’s office.
“We are offering better services to entrepreneurs at a lower cost and as a result, more are choosing Ohio for their new business than ever before,” said Husted.
Since taking office in 2011, making the process simpler and less costly to do business in Ohio has been a top priority of Husted.
He’s launched Ohio Business Central, which enables all Ohio-based businesses to complete and renew forms online, in turn providing easier access, saved taxpayer dollars and reduced processing time.
Another success is the reduction of the cost of start-up businesses in Ohio by 21 percent, making Ohio the least costly state in the region for starting and maintaining a business, according to Husted.
The reduction has already saved Ohio businesses over $2.8 million since its inception.
“By establishing Ohio as the best place in the nation for a business owner to succeed, we are throwing open the doors of our state to new industries and new job opportunities,” he said.
Two years ago the state partnered with Google’s “Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map” program to provide additional tools for new and growing Ohio businesses.
Another partnership Husted created was with the Cleveland Sight Center last year. That has improved customer service to businesses in Ohio by reducing the average wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center from five minutes and 19 seconds to 43 seconds.
“Providing a great customer service to entrepreneurs is extremely important as we work to create a great business environment in Ohio,” said Husted. “The Cleveland Sight Center has given us the chance to improve our services at a lower cost to the taxpayer.”
All of those initiatives have enabled Husted to reduce spending in the Secretary of State’s Office by $14.5 million in his first term compared to previous terms. In his second term Husted became the only statewide officeholder to request a cut rather than an increase in his budget.
“We have changed the mindset of the office from a regulatory role to a customer service-driven mission,” said Husted. “Instead of processing paperwork and enforcing rules, we try to help people comply with the law, help them get their business started and give them more tools to be successful.”
Additionally, last month Husted requested a 100 percent cut in General Revenue Funds for the next biennium while also announcing his plan to run the office for the remainder of his term without using taxpayer funds.
While recognizing the record business growth again last year, Husted said these numbers do not reflect a complete picture of Ohio’s job climate.
However, he said, they are an important indicator of economic activity that he hopes will add to the ongoing discussion of how to improve the state’s overall climate for business.