New business filings in Ohio keep breaking records: Why businesses are opening

Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield a couple of months ago. PROVIDED

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Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield a couple of months ago. PROVIDED

Ohioans continue to create new businesses at a torrid pace during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is “definitely surprising” to Fairfield business owner Bianca Stout.

“But I can understand why,” said the owner of Bianca Rose Salon on Nilles Road in Fairfield. “During the shutdown in the spring of 2020, many people found themselves with downtime they may have never had before. I think for those with an entrepreneurial spirit like myself, it gave time for reflection, time to really think about what the future holds.”

In June, 17,387 new businesses were created in Ohio. The state has surpassed 111,000 new business filings in the first six months of this year, according to data from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Five years ago, it took an entire year for Ohioans to create just more than 105,000 new businesses, said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

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“While these numbers are certainly impressive, what’s far more important is the outcome that comes from an entrepreneur taking a risk and creating a business,” said LaRose. “They’re earning a living for their families and contributing to their communities by creating jobs and delivering goods and services. They have faced adversity with the same grit and creativity that has always defined Ohio entrepreneurs, following their passion to be a business owner.”

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Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

caption arrowCaption
Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

April and May also saw big numbers. In May, there were 20,135 new businesses created, up 56 percent from May 2019. This April’s new business filings surpassed 20,000 for the first time in the state’s history for that month.

“Ohioans continue to defy expectations and demonstrate the pioneer spirit of risk-taking and entrepreneurship that is getting our economy back on track,” LaRose said.

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People file forms with LaRose’s office to declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, nonprofit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. The filing does not mean that the company has begun operations.

Stout moved into her new location this past May, though she’s been a stylist for 14 years. She started out by hiring two additional stylists before her door was open, and within the first two months of operating she’s had to hire two guest service coordinators. Stout’s already thinking about expanding as she’s only using a third of the space in her building.

“This past year has been full of uncertainty for so many,” Stout said. “No matter what life throws your way, if you have a dream and the determination to make it a reality, you can push through tough, uncertain times.

Part of the reason for the record number of startups in Ohio is because of pent-up demand “because there were so many things that didn’t happen for so long,” said Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Another reason is because of life-changing events.

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“I think there were people who were downsized or decided to change careers, going into a new direction, and if they ever thought of having a business in the back of their mind, a lot of them said, ‘You know what? Now’s the time,’” he said. “There’s a lot of people who’ve reevaluated their life situation, and want to do what they want to do as opposed to getting caught in the routine of doing what they’ve been doing to pay the bills.”

caption arrowCaption
Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

caption arrowCaption
Bianca Rose Stout, who's been doing hair for 14 years, opened her salon in Fairfield in mid-May. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Stout said her business on Nilles Road is a great location for her salon, providing visibility and accessibility. She said there was a boom in the beauty industry in recent months because of the number of hairdressers leaving the business or retiring.

But while opening a business is “extremely challenging” and there will be “roadblocks along the way,” Stout said as long as goals are front of mind, “you can achieve anything. All you have to do is take that first, scary step.”

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FACTS & FIGURES: New businesses in Ohio

  • 17,387 new businesses were created in June
  • 111,435 new businesses have been created in the first six months of 2021
  • In 2016, 105,009 new businesses were created over the course of the entire 12-month period
  • New business filings in 2020 totaled 171,073, beating 2019′s previous record of 130,621

Ohio entrepreneurs can visit OhioSoS.gov/BusinessResources to discover the helpful opportunities available to them that can help them start and grow their business