Analysis: Colorado businesses opening at slower pace, but still boosting job growth

Brian Lewandowski
Jena Griswold

The pace of new businesses opening in Colorado continues to slow, but still should bolster job growth, according to the latest analysis of filings in the state.

Corporations, nonprofits and other entities filed a total of 31,762 initial documents with the secretary of state’s office during the second quarter. That’s an increase of just six-tenths of a percent over the second quarter of 2018.

“The slower growth in new business filings is consistent with generally slower growth we are observing in other parts of the economy,” said Brian Lewandowski, associate director of the research division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “Despite this, the state continues to be among the leading growth economies nationally.”

The research division prepares quarterly reports based on information from the secretary of state’s office. Business filings for the second quarter portend continued employment growth in the third and fourth quarters.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold said the Colorado economy continues to perform well despite slowing nationally. “Employment in our state continues its upward trend, and we hope to see continued growth in the next two quarters.”

There were 135,848 existing entity renewals for the second quarter, a 2.2 percent increase over the same span in 2018.

However, dissolution filings increased 10.4 percent over the past year to 8,229 in the second quarter.

For the year ending with the second quarter, 127,103 new entity documents were filed with the secretary of state’s office, a 3.6 percent increase over the previous such span. There were 566,464 existing entity renewals, a 6.1 percent increase.

Counting the latest numbers, there were 727,358 entities in good standing in Colorado in the second quarter of 2019. That’s an increase of 5.6 percent over the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, the latest results of a separate quarterly survey revealed Colorado business leaders were less optimistic about the economy and other aspects of their operations going into the third quarter.

The Leeds Business Confidence Index declined to 50.5. That’s down 2.2 points from the second quarter and 9.1 points from the third quarter of 2018. The index based on the results of surveys of business leaders from across Colorado and a range of industry sectors.

At 50.5, the overall reading, still reflected more positive than negative responses. Readings fell for all six of the metrics the index tracks, but remained above 50 for four metrics.