Making it easier to do business

For six years in a row, Ohio has seen record numbers of new entities filing to do business in the state. There has been a 22 percent increase in the number of new-business filings, from 2010 to 2015, according the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. And the trend is not slowing down. January 2016 saw 8,624 new filings – compared with 7,505 in January 2015.

Granted, those numbers say nothing of the size of the businesses or the potential for their success, but they do speak to a business environment in the Buckeye State that attracts attention. In fact, Fortune magazine says Ohio Gov. John Kasich has made a good case for being the Republican Party’s “business candidate” for president.

Ohio government has made an effort to get out of the way of employers hoping to put down roots in the state. For the first time, Ohio cut state-level costs of starting a new business, in September 2015. It now costs businesses 21 percent less to establish – and maintain – themselves in the Buckeye State, in terms of complying with state mandates.

How was that kind of fee reduction possible?

According to the Dayton Business Journal, “The cut was made possible by the (secretary of state’s) office having reduced operating expenses by more than $14 million over the past four years, representing a 16 percent cut from the previous administration.”

Government became more efficient and passed the savings along to those who can, in turn, provide a boost to Ohio’s economy.

Lawmakers in West Virginia eager to do both may want to take a look across the river for inspiration.