#10 Ohio

6.53 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.11 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

6.88 out of 10 in Living Environment

Welcome to the Knowledge Belt

Manufacturing remains a key driver in Ohio’s GDP, but the Buckeye State has seen sharp diversification into biohealth, tech and innovative industries, like fintech. Financial services is now the second-largest private sector in Ohio and the sixth-largest such sector in the U.S. by GDP. A number of companies in the state, including KeyBank, Progressive and Kroger, joined forces in April to form a fintech business accelerator. Fintech71—named after I-71, which connects Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland—will focus on growing entrepreneurial activity and attracting more fintech companies to the state.

From the Governor

“World-class corporations, technology innovators and small business operators alike are realizing that Ohio’s strengthened economy, stable state finances and improved fiscal outlook set our state apart….They see a fiscally strong state that’s a safe and welcoming place to do business—where their businesses can succeed.” —Gov. John Kasich

Key Industries

Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Retail, Tech

Key Companies

L Brands
Marathon Petroleum
Owens Corning
Sherwin Williams

Key Contacts

John Minor, President and Chief Investment Officer
(614) 300-0938
[email protected]
41 South High Street, Suite 1500
Columbus, OH 43215

Ohio Development Services Agency
David Goodman, Director
77 South High Street, 29th Floor,
Columbus, OH 43215
[email protected]

Key Incentives

State of Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit: Offers a performance-based tax credit for companies that create at least 10 new jobs with a minimum annual payroll of $660,000 and pay at least 150 percent of the federal minimum wage.

JobsOhio Economic Development Grant: Offers grants for fixed-asset and infrastructure investments for companies engaged in targeted industries and business functions.

JobsOhio Revitalization Program: Offers loans of up to $5 million and grants of up to $1 million for projects that create at least 20 jobs and develop abandoned or underutilized property.

Data Center Sales Tax Exemption: Offers a partial to full sales tax exemption on the purchase of eligible data center equipment for companies that meet minimum investment and payroll thresholds.


Ohio Economic Development Association: ohioeda.com

JobsOhio: jobs-ohio.com

The Columbus Region: columbusregion.com

Greater Cleveland Partnership: gcpartnership.com

City of Cincinnati Community & Economic Development: choosecincy.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Choose Ohio First (STEM) Scholarship Program is funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and aims to support STEM education in the state. It has so far awarded more than 28,000 scholarships worth $107 million to students at 49 public and private institutions in Ohio.

Big Deals

  • Facebook announced in August 2017 it will create 100 jobs and construct a $750 million data center in New Albany.
  • Amazon announced in August 2017 it will invest $750 million and create 2,000 new jobs at a distribution center in North Randall.
  • Nestlé announced in February 2017 it will invest an additional $16.8 million and relocate 300 jobs to its growing campus in Solon.
  • Payroll and human services provider Paycor announced in December 2016 it would add 1,000 new jobs and expand its Norwood headquarters.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced in July 2016 a $700 million investment and the creation of 700 new jobs to expand production of Jeep Wrangler at its Toledo plant.

Big Companies

25 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state, including:
Cardinal Health
Proctor & Gamble
Marathon Petroleum
American Electric Power
Goodyear Tire & Rubber

C-Suite Testimonials

“I am grateful to Team NEO, BioEnterprise and JobsOhio in particular, because at the end of the day, they are trying to grow this ecosystem in the biomedical healthcare sector. They have played a big role for me because they are connectors. They see opportunities, which I may not see from my side, and are able to connect those opportunities together.” —Hiroyuki Fujita, founder and CEO, QED

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