SmartAsset, a leading online destination for financial advice, recently listed Washington County in fifth place among Ohio counties for small businesses.
“We hope this study gives people a local context on the presence of small businesses in their community”, said Alyssa Annunziato, senior public relations associate. “This study specifically shows the places in each state where small businesses are most common, as well as the counties with the overall small business income.”
He said that to determine the best places, their study measured three factors: the proportion of people in a county with small business income, the reported business income, and the amount of taxes a prospective resident has to pay on their own. income.
“To determine how attractive a region is to small business owners, we compared the number of tax returns reporting small business income and compared it to the region’s total population of tax registrants.” she said. “Next, we compared the total amount of small business income with the total amount of income reported in each region.”
The three factors were then indexed and equally weighted to produce their Small Business Index, he said. The places with the highest small business index are the places that ranked highest in the study.
Washington County Commissioner Kevin Ritter said the county is an excellent place for small businesses for several reasons.
“A ready workforce, a first-rate career center, a first-rate community college, relatively low-cost real estate, proximity to several large markets within easy walking distance and a low cost of living,” He said.
He said both Washington State Community College and Washington County Career Center are flexible in terms of designing programs based on the needs of the workforce.
“They, together with Marietta College, do a great job training young people for local jobs”, Ritter said. “For small businesses looking to purchase land or a building, the costs here are much better than in more urban areas. If they are trying to attract talent, our relatively low cost of living can be very attractive. “
Jesse Roush, director of the Southeast Ohio Port Authority, said fifth-place ranking is fueled by two things, according to him.
“First, our county is home to a world-class workforce, and that goes for our small business owners too.” He said. “The business leaders in our county are innovative and hardworking, which makes Washington County home to several unique companies, many of which compete for market share globally.”
Roush said that when a hard-working entrepreneur creates a large workforce, it’s a recipe for success, and dozens of small businesses do it well across the county.
Roush believes the second reason for the ranking is due to the county’s strong resource network.
“We have large educational institutions that train our workforce. Several area nonprofits provide mission-critical support to organizations in many ways “, He said. “And from the commissioners, to mayors and city councils, to the county engineer, the construction department, the Small Business Development Center and many more, there are several public sector organizations working together to ensure that our business community thrives.” .
Roush said the county’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is second to none which is why it is home to so many great small businesses.
Washington County wasn’t the only county in the region to make the Ohio top 10. Meigs County was ranked seventh, while Monroe was ranked eighth.
The study was conducted in all 50 states. Four local West Virginia counties were named in the top 10: Pleasants County in fifth, Jackson County in seventh, Calhoun County in eighth, and Tyler County in tenth.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at [email protected]