Fewer New Business Starts Called Good News

Business boosters like to brag about how many new businesses start up in Southern California each year. What they don't like to own up to is how many were started by people whose alternative was unemployment.

Now a report by Santa Ana-based CDB Infotek may shed some light.

New business starts dropped by 1.4% in Orange County last year to 5,132, from 5,206 in 1994, according to CDB President Rick Rozar. Statewide, new business incorporations were down 2.3%.

"A decrease in new business filings can be a positive or a negative indicator, depending on where we are in the business cycle," says Rozar. "While it might mean that entrepreneurs are having a harder time finding financing and getting their new projects going, this time around it probably indicates that there are fewer newly unemployed professionals scrambling to start their own businesses."

And that's positive, he says.

John O'Dell covers major Orange County corporations, manufacturing and economic issues for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5831 and at john.odell@latimes.com.

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