Biz Filings Rise In Twin Cities, Fall In Some Other MN Regions

A new report that examined economic conditions in six Minnesota regions found that 10,406 new business filings during the first quarter helped improve the Twin Cities' economic outlook.

During the first quarter of this year, the seven-county Twin Cities metro area saw an uptick in new business filings, which helped bolster the overall business climate.

That’s according to a new quarterly report produced by St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs in partnership with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The report analyzes regional indicators to review and forecast economic conditions in specific areas across the state. It is the first time such data has been compiled for so many regions throughout the state, although SCSU has been creating a similar report for the St. Cloud area for 15 years.

There were 10,406 total new business filings in the metro area during the first quarter, which represented less than a 1 percent increase from 2013. However, that number takes into account not only new business incorporations and the introduction of new limited liability companies, but also nonprofits and “new assumed names”—which are essentially extra names that businesses may operate under, in addition to their full legal names.

During the quarter, there were actually 1,594 new business incorporations—a 3 percent increase over last year, and 6,106 new LLCs—a 3.4 percent increase. Nonprofits climbed by 436, a nearly 9 percent bump. “New assumed names,” meanwhile, fell 8.5 percent from last year.

The report’s authors then considered their data in conjunction with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s “Index of Leading Economic Indicators” and Creighton University’s “Minnesota Business Conditions Index” to create their own “Index of Leading Economic Indicators.” The report found that the Twin Cities' index for this year’s first quarter is 4.9 percent higher than the same period a year ago—which means the authors are predicting strong economic growth in the region.

The report includes individual reports for six planning regions: Twin Cities, Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. It also maps the locations of all new business registrations within the last 14 years, showing trends in location development.

Outside the Twin Cities, the other five regions were a mixed bag. Business filings jumped in the Northeast by 8.5 percent and in the Southwest by 6.8 percent. The other three regions saw decreases in new businesses, though employment rates improved in every region.

The full reports and maps can be viewed here.

“It’s extremely useful for local businesses to have access to this information to understand important indicators that are affecting their region’s business and economic development,” Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said in a statement. “Our goal is to give entrepreneurs a window into their region’s business climate so they can better plan for the future.”