Economic Development

Ohio Small Businesses Largely Optimistic about Future

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A quarterly survey from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation finds most small businesses in the state are planning to hire in the third quarter and many executives are optimistic about the future of their company.

In a survey of more than 400 executives from across the state – 92% of whom lead companies employing fewer than 100 – the foundation found 95% plan to hire in the next quarter and that 98% added staff in the second quarter.

Still, the foundation’s Prosperity Pulse index – calculated from anticipated profits, hiring, capital expenditures and overall economic outlook – fell slightly in the second quarter to 115.56 from 116.28 the first quarter. The decline was attributed to rising expenses “directly related to adding new employees.”

“This is positive news for job seekers in Ohio” said Katie Koglman, executive director of the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation in a release. “Our small businesses are satisfied with the productivity of their current workforce and have huge plans for expansion. There is a positive spirit of optimism among our business leaders.”

Elsewhere in the quarterly report, the chamber foundation found 39% of businesses expect higher profits in the third quarter, 36% are planning to make capital investments and 91% of business leaders are optimistic about the future of their company, up from 74% in the second quarter of 2017.

The largest concern for employers iis the cost of health care, which was ranked as the top issue statewide. In northeastern Ohio, the No. 2 concern was state and local taxes.

A full copy of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation’s quarterly Prosperity Pulse report is available here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.