By Roger Geiger, NFIB/Ohio Vice President & Executive Director
Improving efficiency and cutting costs. These are two items we at the Ohio Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB/Ohio) find on the wish list of our 25,000 members on a regular basis.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has come through on both accounts. Many recognize the Secretary of State for the important role he plays in the election process in Ohio, but many do not realize that his office is where all new businesses get their start. Valuable resources to help new entrepreneurs get their start and comply with state laws can be found on their website. With nearly one million businesses in Ohio, that’s an important resource.
Since taking office in 2011, customer service has improved, and at a lower cost. In 2013, Secretary Husted’s office launched Ohio Business Central. Now 90% of all filings now can occur online. In fact, three in four companies are now started online in Ohio and more than 229,000 businesses filings have been processed online.
In 2015, filing fees were cut by 21%, making Ohio the least expensive state in the region to start and maintain a business, with only a $99 fee to initiate a business. At the same time, most processing times for business filings went from an average of 4 days to less than 24 hours.
Improved customer service also leads to efficiencies. From 2011-2015, the Secretary of state’s Office saved taxpayers $14.5 million over the prior four years, a 16.5% cut in overall spending. A big part of the savings is the ability to operate the office with 32% fewer staff. Moving many of the services online has offered the opportunity to lower staffing levels, leading to the office’s payroll reaching its lowest level in 9 years.
Small business owners in Ohio sincerely appreciates these types of efforts to improve services and lower costs. Ohio Secretary of State Husted has reached out to Ohio entrepreneurs during his time in office, attending many NFIB meetings around the state and seeking input directly from the state’s job creators. His office is a great example of how a state office can partner with the business community to improve Ohio’s economy.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted speaks with NFIB members in Greenville, OH.