Senator Eklund: Transforming Ohio's Business Environment
By State Senator John Eklund
September 28, 2012
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Columbus - 
When I joined the Ohio Senate last year, one of my top priorities was bringing growth and prosperity back to Northeastern Ohio - and the rest of the state as well. If we are serious about making our state a top destination for employers and families, then it is vital that we have an environment that encourages companies to thrive rather than hindering them with burdensome regulations.

Recognizing this, members of the Senate have worked diligently to implement policies that are transforming the way Ohio does business, paving the way for us to become one of the top job creators in the nation. One of our first accomplishments was the creation of JobsOhio, the public-private partnership that has overhauled our approach to economic development to better match the ever-changing pace of the business world. Building on the success of JobsOhio, we recently passed legislation that restructures the Ohio Department of Development into the Development Services Agency. This new agency will work in conjunction with JobsOhio and provide essential services such as oversight relating to the administration of loans and tax credits used to assist businesses in Ohio.

We have also sought to eliminate government red tape that hinders job growth, allowing companies to focus instead on creating and retaining jobs. Through the establishment of the Common Sense Initiative, state agencies are now required to determine whether a new rule or regulation could adversely affect small businesses. Rules and regulations are also reviewed at regular intervals to make certain their purpose does not outweigh their impact.

To help encourage investment in Ohio, we created the InvestOhio tax credit for individuals who make an investment in a small business. This program has helped leverage investments totaling more than $430 million since its inception. In addition, I sponsored legislation that expands the Enterprise Zone program until next year. This program enables local officials to work collaboratively with companies to bring new investment to the area.

Together, these and other efforts to transform our business environment have helped Ohio create more than 120,000 jobs since the start of 2011 - ranking us first in the Midwest and fourth in the nation in terms of job creation. While we still have a long way to go, I am pleased by our efforts thus far - and will continue to work with my colleagues to streamline government and improve our workforce to ensure Ohio remains a competitive place to live and work.

As always, I welcome your views and concerns about any of the matters we discuss at the Statehouse. I can be reached by phone at (614) 644-7718, by e-mail at or by writing Senator John Eklund, Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215. I look forward to hearing from you.
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