Mar 11, 2024 - News

New business applications keep rising in Indiana

Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Indiana and notable new business growth continue to go together like giant tenderloins and undersized buns.

Why it matters: Business formation rates are an excellent indicator of economic sentiment — few people try to start a company when they foresee bad times ahead, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng write.

Driving the news: New business applications across Indiana rose by 13% between December 2022 and December 2023, according to an Axios analysis of seasonally adjusted Census Bureau data.

  • That puts Indiana among the top 14 states for new business pursuits last year.
  • Throwing it back to before the pandemic, new business applications in the state have increased by more than 95% since 2019.

The big picture: Nationally, Colorado (+115%), North Dakota (+37.7%) and Iowa (+33.7%) had the highest year-over-year change in new business applications between December 2022 and December 2023.

  • Georgia (-9.9%), Louisiana (-8.6%) and Mississippi (-6.4%) had the largest decline in growth.

Zoom in: The census data, along with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's 2023 report, paints a positive picture for those looking to do business in the Hoosier state.

  • According to the IEDC, 208 companies committed to locating or expanding in Indiana in 2023, investing more than $28 billion into their operations and creating more than 21,000 new jobs.
  • Indiana was also ranked as the second best state to start a business by Forbes Advisor, which praised the state's combination of low taxes, a reasonable cost of living and a large working-age population.

What they're saying: "Our strategic, proactive approach is delivering tangible results, attracting new high-growth industries like semiconductors, electric vehicles and clean energy production to Indiana," Indiana secretary of commerce David Rosenberg said in a statement.

The intrigue: Many of the country's emerging new business hot spots have also seen recent population spikes.

Yes, but: New business applications can only capture the financial mood among Americans with the means to start a company.

Plus: Just because somebody files paperwork to start a business doesn't mean that enterprise ever gets off the ground and hires people.

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