CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – More than 1,000 new businesses registered to open in the Mountain State during the month of May 2022, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office.

Warner says his office registered 1,033 new businesses throughout the month of May. For percentage of new business growth, Ritchie County had the highest percentage with a 2.36% increase, gaining 11 new businesses. While Ritchie County had the highest percentage, it is not the county with the most businesses. The number of businesses the counties started the month with is factored into the percentage.

Five other counties also reported growth of more than 1.5% in the month of May. These included:

  • Summers County: 1.92% with 14 new businesses
  • Tucker County: 1.88% with 11 new businesses
  • Taylor County: 1.82% with 11 new businesses
  • Fayette County: 1.68% with 31 new businesses
  • Mercer County: 1.67% with 41 new busniesses

Warner’s office says the county with the highest number of new businesses registered in May is Kanawha County with 101 new businesses. The county’s percentage of growth is 0.87%, starting out the month with 11,597 businesses and ending with 11,663 businesses.

Other counties with high numbers of new businesses registered in May include:

  • Monongalia County: 77 new businesses with a 1% growth.
  • Berkeley County: 88 new businesses with a 1.39% growth.
  • Cabell County: 64 new businesses with a 1.29% growth.
  • Raleigh County: 46 new businesses with a 1.24% growth.
  • Mercer County: 41 new businesses with a 1.67% growth.

Data from Warner’s office shows at least one new business registered with the SOS office in all 55 West Virginia counties.

According to Warner’s office, 12,758 new businesses were registered across the state between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022. Summers County also led the yearly growth rate with a percentage of 31.52%.

The SOS office also tracks the number of businesses that closed last month. However, officials with Warner’s office say this only includes businesses that have filed a termination of their registration with the SOS office.

Data from Warner’s office shows only one of the state’s 55 counties lost more businesses than it gained. Records show Calhoun County only added one new business in May while three filed a termination of their registration.

According to the data, while having the most new businesses open, Kanawha County also reported the most closures, with 35 businesses filing for termination of their registration in May.

Other counties with the highest number of business closures include:

  • Berkeley County: 26 business closures; 88 new businesses
  • Jefferson County: 24 business closures; 37 new businesses
  • Harrison County: 17 business closures; 36 new businesses
  • Raleigh County: 17 business closures; 46 new businesses
  • Monongalia County: 16 business closures; 77 new businesses

Grant, Hardy, Wester and Wyoming counties did not have any businesses file for termination of registration in May and Gilmer, Pleasants and Wirt counties each lost one business while gaining one new business.

A spokesperson for the office says they have no way to track businesses that close without notifying them, but says those businesses would have their registrations revoked after three consecutive years without filing an annual report.

For a full breakdown of new businesses per county in the Mountain State, visit the WV Secretary of State’s website.