SmartAsset, a leading online financial advisory destination, recently ranked Washington County fifth in Ohio’s small business district.
“We hope this study will give people a local context for the presence of small businesses in their community.” said Alice Annunziato, senior public relations officer. “This study specifically shows the places in each state where small businesses are most prevalent, as well as the counties with the highest total small business income.
She said that to determine the best places, their study measured three factors – the share of people in a county with a small business income, the reported business income and the amount of tax a potential resident has to pay on their income.
“To determine how attractive the region is for small business owners, we compared the number of tax returns that report small business income and compared it to the total taxable population in the region.” she said. “We then compared the total revenue of small businesses with the total revenue reported in each region.”
The three factors were then indexed and weighed equally to obtain their small business index, she said. The places with the highest index of small business are the places that rank highest in the survey.
Washington County Commissioner Kevin Ritter said the county is a great place for small businesses for several reasons.
“Ready-made workforce, top-rated career center, top-rated public college, relatively cheap real estate, proximity to several large markets within easy reach and low cost of living.” he said.
He said both the Washington State Community College and the Washington County Career Center are flexible in designing workforce-based programs.
“Together with Marietta College, they do an excellent job of training young people for local jobs.” Ritter said. “For small companies that want to buy land or a building, the costs here are much better than in more urban areas. If we strive to attract talent, our relatively low cost of living can be very attractive. “
Jesse Rush, director of the Port Authority in southeastern Ohio, said the fifth-place ranking was fueled by two things, he said.
“First, our county is home to a world-class workforce, and so are our small business owners.” he said. “Our county’s business leaders are innovative and hardworking, making Washington County home to several unique companies, many of which are competing for market share globally.
Rush said that when a hard-working business owner builds a great workforce, it’s a recipe for success and dozens of small businesses are doing well across the county.
Rush believes the second reason for the ranking is due to the strong resource network of the county.
“We have great educational institutions that train our workforce. Several non-profit organizations provide mission-critical support to organizations in a number of ways. “ he said. “And from commissioners, to mayors and city councils, to the district engineer, the construction department, the Center for Small Business Development and many others, there are several public sector organizations working together to ensure that our business community thrives.
Rush said the county’s business ecosystem is unsurpassed and is home to so many large small businesses.
Washington County was not the only county in the region to enter the top 10 in Ohio. Meigs County was ranked seventh, while Monroe ranked eighth.
The survey was conducted in all 50 states. Four local counties in West Virginia were listed in the top 10: Pleasant County ranked fifth, Jackson County ranked seventh, Calhoun County ranked eighth and Tyler County ranked 10th.
You can contact Michelle Newbanks at [email protected]