More firms launch in state

Unemployment rate falls locally

The number of new businesses in Colorado rose during the second quarter, according to a July report from the secretary of state.

In April through June, 24,601 new businesses filed with the secretary of state’s office – a decrease over the previous quarter, but a 13 percent increase over the same time period last year.

The state doesn’t track new business filings by county, but a falling rate of unemployment locally may reflect an improving economy.

“Coloradans continue their entrepreneurial spirit and are putting their creative ideas to the test,” Secretary of State Scott Gessler said in a written statement. “Their leadership and innovation should translate to moderate employment growth through the rest of the year.”

The report also found the number of new businesses has grown in the past 12 months. The state recorded about 93,000 entities forming during the last 12 months ending in June – a 4.8 percent increase over the previous 12 months.

“Weakness in new entity filings in late 2013 and early 2014 caused us to pause somewhat in our outlook, but strong filings in subsequent months have reaffirmed healthy employment expectations for the rest of 2014,” said Richard Wobbekind, of the University of Colorado Boulder. The Leeds School of Business at CU produces the report using the state’s data.

This growth is expected to continue through September and slow somewhat in the winter, the report said.

In June, the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, down from 6.9 percent last June. June unemployment statistics for counties aren’t yet available, but in May, Montezuma County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest May numbers since the recession started.

The executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, Dena Guttridge, said business owners in the area are confident that oil and gas industry development is going to create an economic boom for the area.

“I think the common consensus is we are poised for something big,” she said.

Some business owners had this feeling last year, but are beginning to invest in new products or open storefronts, she said. She has also received calls from people thinking about investing in real estate.

“There’s a lot of excitement right now, and people are feeling pretty confident,” Guttridge said.