New businesses follow the rooftops

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In the Indianapolis area, businesses are popping up fastest in counties where populations are growing quickly.

Growth in number of businesses by countyIndeed, business creation in Boone, Hamilton and Hendricks counties increased at a steady pace the past couple of years despite the recession, government figures show.

Hamilton County in particular hosted more and more businesses. Last year, Hamilton had 7,715 businesses, up 6.6 percent from 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, noted Boone County churns out ever-larger numbers of businesses even though the population, while growing, is still fairly small. That’s probably because businesses are moving into the county to tap its wealthy residents, Conover said.

Growth in business numbers has slowed in Hancock and Johnson counties, and reversed in Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties in 2008.

The figures are derived from federal tax reports, and show the net change in businesses after accounting for startups, existing businesses and firms going out of business. The final quarter of 2009 is the most recent numbers available.•

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