A business boom in Ohio
Named for the Iroquois word for "great river," the state of Ohio is experiencing an economic boom. In recent years, nascent businesses and household-name brands alike have taken root in this Midwestern destination, finding a professional environment that fosters growth and expansion with a global mindset, helping it rise in the ranks to achieve a Gross State Product of $698 billion in 2019.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or a seasoned C suite-level executive, there are myriad advantages to starting your business in Ohio — or bringing an outpost there. Of course, expanding or relocating a business is no small matter for key decision makers, site selectors, or the employees moving with the company. With this in mind, not only does the state offer affordable commercial space and a skilled, high quality workforce, but the 0% state tax on corporate income allows companies to thrive. That’s why, today, nearly 50 countries conduct business operations in Ohio, with global companies employing more than 247,000 state residents and counting.
From professional resources and business benefits to personal development opportunities, it’s clear that Ohio is in a class of its own.
The Ohio advantage by the numbers
See how life in Ohio’s big cities measures up against some others from around the country.
(data from Salary.com)*Median home price (in Q3 2020, data from National Association of Realtors)*State Corporate Income Tax Rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
(data from Tax Foundation)
(data from Salary.com)
(data from Tax Foundation)
We spend an average of a third of our lives at work — more than 90,000 hours in our lifetime — and plenty of us spend more. Hardworking employers and employees alike benefit from a business climate that fosters innovation and growth, and for the former, Ohio offers a corporate-friendly economy and an unmatched workforce of top-tier talent.
Statewide, Ohio’s $2 billion budget reserve and status as the seventh largest state economy mean lower taxes and operating costs with fewer barriers to professional success and business growth. Plus, its global business mindset has successfully attracted a rich and diverse roster of startups, Fortune 500 brands, and everything in between.
Ohio’s business climate encourages research and innovation in ways that other states can’t — for proof, look no further than its Innovation Districts of Cleveland and Cincinnati and its rapidly expanding industries including healthcare, technology, agribusiness, smart mobility, energy, fintech, and more. And when it comes to talent, companies can source from a pool of more than 5.5 million skilled workers, including promising graduates from Ohio State University and more than 200 collegiate institutions.
Ohio’s healthcare industry (the second largest in the state after agriculture, per data from Statista) has been recognized on a global scale thanks to a rapidly expanding pool of cutting-edge health-focused brands, companies, and treatment centers moving operations to the state. Healthcare leaders such as Cleveland Clinic and Nationwide Children’s Hospital not only attract world-renowned thought leaders, researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs, but they’ve been instrumental in innovative developments in areas from bioscience and pediatric care to disease research, medical devices, and more.
The numbers speak for themselves: to date, Ohio boasts an impressive list of accomplishments in the healthcare landscape, including 11 nationally ranked hospitals, more than 81,000 bioscience employees, $490 million in private investment, and $883 million in National Institutes of Health Awards.
But it’s not just healthcare that’s thriving. A fast-growing and fast-moving industry by nature, Ohio’s tech scene has also seen a boom in recent years, with an estimated direct economic impact of $34.5 billion, or about 5.8 percent of the state’s total economy. Ohio companies secured a record $1.5 billion of funding in 2020, according to The National Venture Capital Association — higher than every year on record. Top-tier brands including Facebook, Google, Carvana, Amazon, and IBM have all opted to plant roots in this Midwestern hub to take advantage of its growing roster of STEM professionals and operating costs at a fraction of coastal locations like Silicon Valley and New York City.
Once laptops close and commutes are complete, Ohio truly comes alive. For those looking to relocate their business without sacrificing city life, Ohio offers a choice of 16 major metropolitan areas — Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, to name a few. Many who relocate to the state find housing affordability and low cost of living to be two huge advantages over the country’s other business hubs such as Austin, Boston and Los Angeles, with all of its major metropolitan areas sitting below the national cost of living average. In Cincinnati, residents enjoy a cost of living that’s 10.8 percent below the national average, and Cleveland and Columbus offer 6.9 percent and 7.5 percent below the average, respectively. Outside those larger cities, Toledo clocks in at 8.8 percent below, and Dayton offers an extra wallet-friendly cost of living that’s 13.2 percent below the average.
Whether your pastimes include family-friendly attractions, an ever-evolving list of new eateries, or the opportunity to get outside and experience all four seasons, there’s a plethora of after-hours and weekend activities to fill your calendar. Don’t miss the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Cleveland's waterfront or the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the second-oldest zoo in the U.S. Nature lovers can tackle 5,000 miles of trails in Ohio’s expansive network of state parks, including hiking, running, biking, equestrian and water trails. Plus, sports fans will have 8 major league teams to cheer on, including the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Reds.
And for students and professionals looking for personal enrichment outside of the office or classroom, Ohio offers many opportunities for skill set advancement. The state’s robust research and innovation networks foster collaboration and access to both academic and clinical resources designed to support local professionals and help them further their competitive advantage.
The low cost of living, endless business potential, integrated transportation infrastructure and world-class educational resources make Ohio an ideal destination for achieving success. While multiple factors and considerations go into the process of moving your business or enterprise, those who opt to create outposts in this Midwestern state can take comfort in knowing they’ll be met with open doors, professional support, and plenty of expansive opportunities.
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