The Toledo Region is the place for businesses looking for the edge needed to succeed and grow in the New Manufacturing Economy. This region has the optimal mix of location, technological resources and skilled workforce to power all types of business and industry.
The Toledo Region is one of the fastest-growing industrial regions in the nation in terms of capital investment. The Midwest leads the nation in foreign investment and foreign trade, and the Toledo Region leads the Midwest. The region is home to a new generation of state-of-the-art facilities, and is an engine of new manufacturing economy jobs.
The region is a cornerstone of the State of Ohio’s manufacturing and export strength. Ohio ranks third in the nation in manufacturing output, second in advanced materials research, and fifth in research into specialty chemicals. The Toledo region provides easy access to major markets, a highly skilled workforce, plentiful Foreign Trade Zones, and world-class research institutions - all well positioned to drive future growth.
Ohio consistently receives top marks from site selectors for its strong, positive business climate. The state has been a frequent recipient of the Governor’s Cup from Site Selection magazine based on its strong business growth and economic development activity. The Toledo Region continually garners favorable attention from site selectors for renewable energy, the movement of goods, and innovation. Major new relocation, expansion and development efforts signal that the region’s business strengths are continually gaining wider recognition.
While businesses in many industries have found success in the Toledo region, the area’s competitive assets have combined to make it particularly attractive to six key industries - Advanced & Alternative Energy, Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies, Automotive, Bioscience, Food Processing & Agribusiness and Transportation & Integrated Logistics. “The Toledo region is dominated by a strong manufacturing base in glass, plastic, primary and fabricated metal, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing, and advanced and environmental technology,” according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition. Manufacturing is essential to the identity of the Toledo region.
The Toledo Region’s longstanding strength in glass and plastic films, originally a mainstay of the automotive industry, is now a force for innovation in solar power technology. Supported by the area’s first class research universities, cooperative economic development efforts and strong workforce, companies like Xunlight and First Solar are driving photovoltaic innovation from the heart of northwest Ohio. Business Week, The Economist and USA Today have recognized the Toledo region as an emerging leader in solar research and production.
Businesses choosing to call the Toledo Region home have access to a variety of local, state and federal programs designed to meet capital, research, technology and workforce funding needs for qualified projects. The area’s economic development practitioners are adept at assessing a business’s unique needs and then matching them up with the most appropriate provider of support services or incentives.
While the Toledo Region takes a collaborative approach to economic development, each service provider brings its own individual set of strengths to the mix, resulting in solutions tailor-made for each business. Some of the area’s major economic development partners include:
The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber is host to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center (MTSBDC) and the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) programs. These programs provide a full complement of high-quality (and often-times free) business development services to existing business owners and prospective entrepreneurs alike.
Higher Education – The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University nurture and support new technology businesses. Both entities have spun off companies using university-licensed and developed technologies. In addition, the University of Toledo offers incubation services for fledgling companies in a number of fields.
The Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) – RGP is a private, nonprofit development corporation dedicated to fostering local, national and international economic growth opportunities for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Through private sector leadership, the RGP provides a full range of traditional business development services to help in the attraction, expansion and retention of companies. It also takes a lead role in marketing the region’s assets both nationally and internationally.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority – The Port Authority offers a mix of innovative financing programs for business projects of all types. Besides being the local administrator of the SBA 504 and State of Ohio 166 loan programs, the organization also offers revenue bonds and infrastructure financing. The Port Authority also recently received a substantial Department of Energy grant that will allow it to help “ramp-up” energy efficiency building retrofits for commercial and industrial facilities across our region.
Lucas County Improvement Corporation (LCIC) – As the economic development agency for Lucas County, the LCIC connects businesses with the opportunities and resources available through the area’s economic development system.
The Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development Association (NORED) – An affiliation of many of the economic development entities that serve the 12 counties of northwest Ohio, NORED works to market the Toledo Region as a premier location for businesses of all types.
The region’s long history of manufacturing innovation (particularly in the glass industry), coupled with substantial geographical and workforce assets, position the area to capitalize on industrial growth in four primary areas: Solar/Advanced Renewable Energy, Transportation Logistics, Architecture, Construction and Engineering Services and Bioscience.