If you are thinking about starting a business, you have probably done extensive research on your idea, target market, prospective customers, and competition. But, have you considered how the location of your new business could affect its growth and profitability?
The internet and social media have broken communication barriers and made it easier to communicate with customers, suppliers, and partners halfway across the world, but nothing can replace the benefits of growing a startup in a place with:
- Easy access to profitable markets
- Strong supply chains
- An abundant talent pool
- A robust entrepreneurial support community
- A business-friendly tax environment
- Good quality of life
Considering these six factors, Ohio could be the ideal location for your startup. Here’s why:
Access – Ohio is located within 600 miles of 60 percent of the U.S. population and 50 percent of the Canadian population. The state’s transportation network, which includes eight major interstate highways, five international airports, and 25 water ports and terminals, along with its central location, helps ensure businesses have easy access to Midwestern, Central Canadian, and Mid-Atlantic markets.
Supply Chains – With strong supply chains across numerous industries, Ohio-based companies benefit from improved business efficiencies and increased profits. The state’s key sectors, including healthcare and clean technology, produce and distribute products cost-effectively as a result of their geographic proximity to world-class research centers, a vast network of manufacturing facilities and expertise, and well-situated distribution centers that distant competitors cannot replicate. Demonstrating their high potential, the state’s cutting-edge advanced specialty materials and chemicals, energy, agriculture and environmental, bioscience, information technology, and retail and consumer companies have attracted over $2 billion from angel and venture investors since 2005.
Talent – Talent is the key to business success, and the education and workforce development system in Ohio yields a highly-skilled and innovative workforce. The state’s labor pool of 6 million workers is among the largest in the nation and its world-class public and private research institutions, including The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Akron, are among the top teaching and research facilities in the United States. More than any other state on a per capita basis, Ohio is home to more than 200 institutions of higher education in Ohio.
Support – The Ohio Third Frontier was established in 2002 as a ten-year, $1.6 billion initiative to foster entrepreneurship and promote the creation of new technology-based industries, companies, and jobs by expanding the availability of investment capital. The public-private partnership supports the state’s Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP) comprised of six regional organizations, including the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network in Northeast Ohio. Each ESP offers entrepreneurs access to a comprehensive, coordinated network of assistance-providers. Ohio Third Frontier also supports The ONE Fund, an information technology startup accelerator for young entrepreneurs, as well as the Pre-seed Fund Capitalization Program designed to increase the amount of capital being invested in Ohio-based, early-stage companies. Since 2002, the efforts of Ohio Third Frontier have led to the creation of nearly 70,000 jobs and the commercialization and creation of more than 650 companies.
Tax Environment – Entrepreneurs considering a location for their startups often factor in profit-friendly business climates. With a 4.4 percent effective tax rate on new investment, Ohio boasts the lowest tax burden in the Midwest and the third-lowest tax burden in the nation for new business investments, higher than only Oregon (3.8 percent) and Maine (3.0 percent). Additionally, the state eliminated the corporation franchise tax as well as the tangible personal property tax. These taxes were replaced by a new 0.26% commercial activity tax, which applies only to receipts rather than profits and only to in-state sales.
Quality of Life – Ohio has diverse metropolitan areas and ethnic communities, a wide variety of recreational opportunities, world-class healthcare facilities, and a great selection of internationally-renowned educational and cultural institutions. The cost of living in Ohio is the lowest among Midwest states with the exception of Kentucky and Indiana and is almost 35 percent less than that of California and 23 percent less than that of Massachusetts. So, as you get closer to launching a business, consider Ohio for your company’s headquarters. Nothing will ever replace the benefits of making a central, entrepreneur-friendly location your firm’s home. And, Ohio’s track record speaks for itself—for the fourth year in a row the state leads the nation in new and expanded businesses.
Leah’s primary focus as JumpStart’s Market Analyst is developing a deep understanding of the key challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. Using her experience leading research projects and framing problems to identify creative solutions, Leah works to build stakeholder relationships, ensure the growth and success of client and portfolio companies, and drive organizational strategies. Additionally, Leah brings her insights to life through communications and advocates for and connects entrepreneurs to additional capital and service resources beyond those provided by JumpStart.