Small biz incentives need to also include larger employers

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, is excited about the record number of new businesses being established in the Buckeye State — more than 13,700 new filings in March alone. That is part of a long trend of increases in new business filings, for which Obhof hopes to give credit to tax cuts he says “benefited small businesses and really provided tax fairness to people who are sole proprietors.”

By “small businesses,” Obhof means employers of perhaps 10 to 20 people, and the reality is that a significant percentage of those new filings are one-person operations. The announcement about all those new filings did not include data on how long each of those businesses is able to stay open.

Nor does it analyze how many of those new entrepreneurs are taking a risk after having lost a job at one of the larger employers that has had to reduce staff or shut down altogether.

Ohio’s unemployment rate is still considerably higher than the national average (4.4 percent in March, compared with 3.8 percent for the country as a whole).

Lawmakers are correct to celebrate victories such as the hope in the economy displayed by 13,700 new filers who decided to give it a go last month. But in addition to those targeted tax cuts aimed at helping small businesses get established, there should also be an effort to make Ohio enticing enough to the larger employers that they, too, regain a foothold in the Buckeye State.

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