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Business Climate

A Business-Friendly Approach Promotes Innovation and Growth in Ohio

Ohio Business Climate - Cranes

Ohio is the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest inventions – the airplane, the lightbulb, the traffic light and even Superman. Today, Ohio combines that innovative spirit with a friendly business environment that attracts global investment and fosters growth. Ohio’s simplified tax structure, central location and affordable cost of doing business are catalysts for ongoing economic diversification and prosperity.

In Ohio, the speed of business is how we do business. Make Ohio home.

Fast Facts

  • $2.7 billion budget reserve
  • 7th largest economy in the U.S., 21st worldwide
  • The state’s Common Sense Initiative has created a jobs-friendly regulatory environment
  • Accelerated environmental permitting process takes 180 days or less


  • No corporate income or profits tax
  • No tax on products sold outside of Ohio
  • No tax on machinery and equipment investments
  • No tax on R&D investments
  • Only one state business tax – the Commercial Activity Tax (0.26%)
  • From 2012-2017, Ohio cut taxes by $4.9 billion – the largest tax cut by total in the U.S.


Credit Rating

Security and Source of Funds Fitch Ratings Moody's Standard & Poor's
General Obligation, General Revenue Funds
Higher Education, Common Schools, Coal Development, Conservation Projects, Infrastructure Improvement, Job Ready Site Development, Natural Resources, Third Frontier Research and Development, and Veterans Compensation
AA+ Aa1 AA+
General Obligation, Highway User Receipts
Highway Capital Improvements
Special Obligation, General Revenue Funds
Cultural and Sports Capital Facilities, Mental Health Capital Facilities, Parks and Recreation Capital Facilities, State Facilities (Administrative Building Projects, Adult Correctional Building Projects and Juvenile Correctional Building Projects)
Special Obligation, Highway User Receipts
State Facilities (Transportation Building Projects and Highway Safety Building Projects)
Federal Transportation Grants, State Highway Infrastructure/ Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE)
Major New State Infrastructure Project (GARVEE)
N/A Aa2 AA
State Credit Enhancement, General Revenue Funds
Two-year Community and Technical Colleges
N/A Aa2 N/A


Source: Ohio Office of Budget and Management


Diversified Economy

Ohio’s economy consists of thriving industries that reflect the Midwest’s industrial leadership and continued innovation. JobsOhio executes strategies around Ohio’s biggest industries and industries showing growth: advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, automotive, energy and chemicals, financial services, food and agribusiness, healthcare, information technology, and logistics and distribution.

Foreign Direct Investment

For international companies seeking access to the U.S. market, Ohio is an advantageous location. Ohio’s welcoming culture, low cost of doing business, reliable and affordable energy, and skilled workforce make the state an appealing choice for international investors.


Source: International Corporate Investment in Ohio Operations

The Rise of Ohio — A Midwest Leader in Economic Growth

"Ohio’s economy is firing on all cylinders and remains an outperformer among its Midwest peers." – Moody’s, October 2018

Ohio is leading the Midwest in economic competitiveness. Growth in Ohio’s private sector gross state product, jobs and wages have outpaced regional states in recent years. The momentum only grew stronger in 2018 with Ohio adding more private sector jobs than any other state in the region. Additionally, Ohio's global engagement has supported a significant increase in jobs from foreign direct investment (FDI) – up 21 percent over the last five years.

The strong foundation Ohio offers – including record budget reserves, a strong credit rating and a favorable tax climate for businesses – appeals to business decision makers. Investments in talent development initiatives and industries that will continue to diversify Ohio’s economy address concerns that companies face today and will allow them to continue choosing Ohio in the future.

Ohio’s growth trajectory continues to garner national accolades. These are a sample of the recognition Ohio received in 2018:

  • Ernst & Young's 2018 U.S. Investment Monitor ranks Ohio No. 1 in the nation in jobs and projects.
  • Site Selection ranks Ohio No. 4 for state business climate, up from No. 9 in 2011.
  • Chief Executive ranks Ohio No. 9 in its Best States for Business rankings, up from 41 in 2011.

Area Development ranks Ohio in the top 10 for competitive labor environment, leading workforce development programs, shovel-ready sites program, and favorable utility rates.

Ohio’s continued growth is a testament to the efforts of public and private entities across the state. These successes prove that Ohio continues to be a great state for business.

Real GDP Growth - Private Sector

JobsOhio Focus Industries Continue to Outperform

JobsOhio sectors continue on a growth trajectory in gross state product for the private sector that significantly outpaced the U.S. and regional states over the past seven years.

The JobsOhio sector focus has helped fuel the private sector growth in Ohio. The state is becoming more resilient, and in order to continue to foster this growth, JobsOhio will undertake a targeted approach to support of the needs of growth businesses.

Additionally, Ohio’s venture capital (VC) funding broke the $1 billion mark in 2018 for the first time (ranks No. 8), with a 150 percent increase over 2017. Increased VC funding translates into more early stage company growth, primarily in technology and healthcare.

According to Columbus Business First and CB Insights, each of the top five deals in 2018 were larger than the biggest ones of 2017 and 2016.

Real GDP Growth - JobsOhio Industries


Venture Capital Funding Growth

The Reshoring Institute: Ohio Economic and Incentive Analysis

Reshoring Institute

The Reshoring Institute provides information, research and support for companies looking to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. The institute has put together the Ohio Economic and Incentive Analysis profile for companies looking for the most suitable location for manufacturing. The profile contains an in-depth overview of tax incentives, grants, loans and other important state economic metrics to aid reshoring companies in these difficult decisions.

Ohio is a Top 10 Best State for Business in New Chief Executive CEO Survey

Since 2010, Ohio has jumped 34 spots to become the ninth best state for business according to CEO survey
May 16, 2019

Ohio sits as the No.9 best state for business in Chief Executive magazine’s 2019 “Best and Worst States for Business” survey. Ohio’s strong growth in finance, manufacturing and logistics; its ability to supply the talent needed to support expanding businesses; and the state’s business-friendly environment support its jump of 34spots in the rankings since 2010.

Venture Capital Firms Invested in Ohio at Record Levels in 2018

Venture Capital Firms Invested in Ohio at Record Levels in 2018

Ohio leads the Midwest in attracting growth capital
Matt Waldo, senior manager of research and analysis
March 11, 2019

Since the early 2000s, a significant shift has occurred in pulling VC funding away from the West Coast. Where is the funding going? It’s heading to the Midwest, and Ohio is leading the way. Ohio is earning national attention for its thriving and continuously growing startup environment.

Ohio’s Diversifying Economy

Ohio’s Diversifying Economy

A focus on multiple industries is good for Ohio’s economy
Andrew Deye, managing director, JobsOhio
March 4, 2019

During the creation of JobsOhio, a business-minded approach was taken to prioritize how the organization would work for the benefit of the state. By focusing on multiple industries, JobsOhio’s efforts have helped to strengthen Ohio’s economy and make it more resilient.


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