Before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the economy in mid-March, new business starts in Washington were running ahead of last year’s levels. Those numbers tanked from April through June as the lockdown stopped many business activities.

This month the formation of new businesses in Washington, as measured by a rolling four-week average of applications for federal tax IDs, has returned to levels above last year’s. And the latest figure is higher than during February, before the pandemic.

The national numbers are much higher, perhaps because in many states the lockdown period was shorter or more lenient. It remains to be seen what effect the latest rollbacks and halts to economic re-openings will have.