It's hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, the entire country was gripped in its worst recession in nearly a century. You'd never believe it given how much better the economy looks today, with unemployment constantly on the decline, job growth regularly ticking upward and more entrepreneurs feeling confident enough to open new businesses. Of course, Ohioans don't need to conduct a state-by-state survey to know that, they can see it happening in their own backyard:
- GDP: As of 2013, Ohio generates a GDP of $565 billion. NerdWallet notes that if Ohio was its own country, this figure would make its economy the 27th largest in the world.
- Lucrative business community: The Buckeye State is home to 25 Fortune 500 companies, both a testament to the strong business network that exists here and a promising sign for local entrepreneurs looking to network and expand their own companies.
- Unemployment: After peaking at 12 percent in January 2010, Ohio's unemployment rate has fallen year after year and currently sits at a mere 5.4 percent — not only a great number in its own right, but even under the national average of 5.5 percent.
In order to analyze Ohio's stature as a hotspot for entrepreneurs, NerdWallet surveyed local communities that were home to at least 5,000 people and over 500 companies that ran the gamut from single-person proprietorships to major businesses. Evaluating each of these communities' business climate (defined as "the average revenue of businesses, the percentage of businesses with paid employees and the number of businesses per 100 people") and local economic health ("annual median income, monthly median housing costs and unemployment rates"), NerdWallet summed up the following takeaways:
- Entrepreneurial communities: "The top 10 have, on average, 14.92 businesses per 100 people, well above the statewide average of 9.03, meaning business owners are highly concentrated in many of these cities," writes NerdWallet.
- Greater Cincinnati: Four of NerdWallet's top 10 Ohio cities for business activity were located in Hamilton County, in the Greater Cincinnati area. Additionally, Cincinnati itself hosts nine of the state's Fortune 500 companies.
- Smaller cities: While Cincinnati may be king, Ohio's smaller cities are also proving to be vibrant areas for small business growth. The average population of NerdWallet's top 10 cities was only 10,303, way below the state average of 28,470. This kind of close-knit feel lends itself better to entrepreneurs looking to network with local business partners.
Are you a local entrepreneur looking to grow your business and benefit the Ohio economy? Consult with Growth Capital today for affordable, long-term commercial business loans to help you realize your goals.