Guest Column From State Representative Stephen Huffman
Small Business Growth Puts Ohio on the Map for Doing Business

Every time we enter our corner coffee shop, purchase produce from our local farmers market, or dine at our favorite hometown restaurant, it becomes clear that small businesses are the backbone of our communities. The growth of this sector stimulates our economy and provides for individuals and families across the state.

In 2017, Chief Executive magazine announced that Ohio is the 11th best state in the nation for business, an accomplishment made even more significant by the fact that Ohio was listed 22nd only two years ago. In addition to that remarkable feat, the Secretary of State recently announced that 2017 was another record-setting year for new business filings—the eighth consecutive year that this record has been broken!

These successes in our business community are not due to pure chance. They’ve come about after years of diligent saving, responsible spending, and business-friendly initiatives. Since 2011, House Republicans have solved an $8 billion budget deficit and encouraged a predictable tax structure, policies that have helped cut the unemployment rate in half and generate the creation of more than 480,000 private sector jobs.

All of these factors have contributed to the expansion of small business in Ohio. On top of those achievements, the House has passed legislation that improves the economic environment to allow individuals and out-of-state companies to put down roots in Ohio and start a new business. Through income tax deductions on the first $250,000 of business income, small business owners are able to keep more of their hard-earned money and can reinvest in their company and create new jobs.

We also reduced the filing fee associated with starting a new small business by 21 percent from $125 to $99. It can already be incredibly cost-prohibitive to start a new business, so this legislation made it easier and cheaper for those with the dream to own their own business to get started. Small businesses provide income for their owners and jobs for those they employ, and the removal of restrictions that inhibit their growth can only improve Ohio’s overall economy.

Ohio’s economic outlook is healthy and it can get even better, especially if our small businesses continue to expand and make a bigger impact on our communities. Our policies have helped foster their growth and put Ohio on the map for one of the best places to start a business.


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