2012-01-19 / News

More than 30 businesses open on island

At least 30 new businesses opened their doors in Jamestown in 2011, based on new data from the secretary of sate’s office, which tracks yearly business filings.

“The economy has had a traumatic few years, so let’s be careful about reading too much into this data. The pain isn’t over, but there are signs that things may be turning around,” said Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.

Statewide, it appears that Rhode Island’s entrepreneurs may be getting more optimistic about the economy’s recovery. For the first time since 2007, the number of new business starts actually increased year-over-year.

But, overall, the growth was modest. Last year, 6,846 new businesses filed with the secretary of state’s office compared to 6,778 in 2010. As a basis for comparison, there were 7,837 start-ups in 2007.

“Based on our work with startups all year long, we were pretty sure 2011 would be more hopeful. But we were surprised to see such an improvement. Entrepreneurs may be getting more confident about the economy,” said Mollis.

And for the first time since 2007 there has been three straight years of growth in any business classifi cation. The number of newly formed limited liability companies rose to 4,202, up 4.8 percent compared to 2010.

Most were limited liability companies, LLCs are a type of business entity that has the liability shield advantages of a corporation and the flexibility and tax pass-through advantages of a partnership. They have been growing in popularity compared to forprofi t corporate structure for several years.

There are signs that the economic shake-out is not over, though. In 2011, 6,627 corporate entities disappeared, about 7 percent more than 2010 when 6,183 companies shut their doors. Still, Rhode Island did better than in 2008, when a record 7,071 companies went out of existence.

“The state’s economic troubles have taken a terrible toll on Rhode Islanders. We can only hope the worst is behind us,” said Mollis.

The secretary of state’s office works with every company registered to do business in Rhode Island. The office oversees recording commercial liens, protecting corporate trademarks and providing advice to start-up businesses.

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