Portsmouth and Wheelersburg make “best” list

By Frank Lewis

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Portsmouth ranked 65th and Wheelersburg 152nd in a list of the best places to start a business in Ohio, in a recent study conducted by NerdWallet.

NerdWallet is an American, personal finance, information service. The company provides information and comparison tools to consumers preparing to make financial decisions. To find the best places to start a business in Ohio, NerdWallet examined communities with more than 500 businesses and a population of at least 5,000. These businesses range in size from sole proprietorships to large companies. They used two categories with a total of six variables for their analysis.

One was business climate. NerdWallet analyzed the average revenue of businesses, the percentage of businesses with paid employees and the number of businesses per 100 people. A higher measure for each variable indicates a more business-friendly environment.

The other was local economic health. NerdWallet looked at annual median income, monthly median housing costs and unemployment rates for each community. We analyzed income and housing costs, so areas with a high median income and low housing costs scored higher. We examined the unemployment rate to see whether a community’s economy supported business success. A lower unemployment rate scored higher.

Portsmouth showed a population of 20,357 and number of businesses at 1,554. According to NerdWallet’s figures the average revenue for businesses in Portsmouth is $964,723. The figures showed 36.87 percent of businesses had paid employees and the city as having 5.40 percent unemployment.

Wheelersburg, with a population of 6,600, was shown as having 773 businesses with an average revenue of $389,922. A quarter of Wheelersburg businesses have paid employees and unemployment was at 8.70 percent.

Among the best Ohio cities in which to start a business were – 1. Blue Ash, 2. Independence, 3. Moraine, 4. Beachwood and 5. Fairlawn.

They analyzed communities with a population over 5,000 and with 500 or more businesses, but excluded places that lacked data. They calculated the score for each location based on business climate, average revenue, percentage of businesses with paid employees, businesses per 100 people, local economic health, median annual income, median monthly housing costs and unemployment rate, with varying percentages given to each category.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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