With a strong, talented workforce, available sites, various
incentives, and key strengths in transportation and logistics, Ottawa County – located
on the shores of Lake Erie – is one of Ohio’s premier locations to build or
expand a business.
Learn more about what Ottawa County has to offer in our site selector’s guide to Ottawa County.
1) Ideal Access to All Markets
Due to Ottawa County’s strategic location, our region has
several important assets, making it a transportation hub your clients could
Air: Erie-Ottawa International Airport provides easy access to domestic and international flights, including an onsite U.S. Customs & Border Protection facility and land available for development.
Rail: Access fast and efficient railroad service off of a Norfolk Southern mainline in from a strategic location from which businesses produce, assemble, and distribute their finished goods.
Road: 10 highways run through Ottawa County, connecting our area with major cities like Cleveland and Detroit accessible within a one-hour drive.
Water: Access 323 square miles of navigable waterways – including Lake Erie, an ideal location for industrial development looking to take advantage of freshwater resources.
2) Business-Friendly Tax Climate
Ohio has the lowest taxes in the Midwest, making Ottawa
County an extremely profit-friendly business climate for companies that locate
Ohio ranks fifth in the nation for cost of doing
No tax on investments in machinery and equipment
No tax on products sold to customers outside
No tax on inventory or corporate income
First $1 million in gross receipts are tax-free
Flat tax on sales between $150,000 – $1 million
Recent tax reform reduced tax burden by up to
3) Numerous Advantages for New & Existing Businesses
Ottawa County offers several advantages
to new and existing businesses from any industry. Consider the following facts:
Low sales tax rate
Low municipal income tax rates
Affordable wages: $53,599 median household
Below average cost of living: $135,800 median
4) Prime Location for Businesses in Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare & More
For a county of its size, Ottawa County houses several noteworthy companies which serve as industry leaders both within the county and throughout the region – and, in some cases, across the country:
Location: Elmore, Ohio
Description: Leading supplier of high-performance engineered materials that today’s leading-edge manufacturers demand.
Location: Port Clinton, Ohio
Description: Critical access hospital that is technologically advanced and provides quality and compassionate medical care and treatment.
Location: Oak Harbor, Ohio
Description: Sheet metal fabrication company specializing in stainless steel fabrications and custom molds.
Location: Port Clinton, Ohio
Description: Largest manufacturer of conveyor belting for mining and industrial applications.
United States Gypsum Company
Location: Gypsum, Ohio
Description: Largest manufacturer of gypsum-based building products for the construction and remodeling industries in the U.S.
These are just some of many organizations who are proud to
call Ottawa County home.
5) Noteworthy Sites & Buildings Available for Development
Another strength Ottawa County has to offer are our various
sites and buildings which are available for development. Three highlighted
Whether your clients are looking to build a new facility,
purchase an available property, or expand their already existing business, Ottawa
County offers a wealth of resources to finance their projects.
Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) has access to several different financing tools which provide creative structures, competitive rates and terms, and compatibility with private lender programs:
Community Development Block Grant: Gap financing; fixed rates; terms up to 10 years. Learn more.
OCIC Revolving Loan Fund Program: Gap financing & down-payment assistance; fixed rates; 3-5 year term. Learn more.
SBA 504 Loan Program: 40% gap financing, backed by Small Business Administration; fixed rates. Learn more.
Ohio Regional 166 Loan Program: Finances fixed assets (land, building, machinery, and equipment); 40% gap financing. Learn more.
Development Grant: The JobsOhio Economic Development Grant was created
to promote economic development, business expansion, and job creation by
providing funding for eligible projects in the State of Ohio.
Creation Tax Credit: A refundable tax credit to companies generally
creating at least 10 new jobs (within three years) with a minimum annual
payroll of $660,000 that pay at least 150 percent of the federal minimum
and Development (R&D) Investment Tax Credit: Provides a non-refundable
tax credit up to seven percent for qualified research and development expenses.
Revitalization Program: This program is focused on helping revitalize sites
in preparation for end users that support future job creation opportunities for
Grant: The JobsOhio Workforce Grant was created to promote
economic development, business expansion, and job creation by providing funding
for the improvement of worker skills and abilities in the State of Ohio.
Real Property Incentives
In addition to project financing tools and incentives like
the ones we’ve already mentioned, Ottawa County also provides real estate
Enterprise Zone: Communities in Ohio may establish an Enterprise Zone that provides local officials with the ability to negotiate a tax incentive agreement with a prospective company.
Community Reinvestment Areas (CRA): CRAs are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements. The CRA Program is a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.
Local employers, employees, and job seekers can also take
advantage of Ottawa County’s workforce training assistance programs offered by
numerous local, regional, and state entities:
(OJT) Training: A federally funded program that helps employers hire and
train individuals for long-term employment.
Worker Training: Will reimburse employers for up to 50 percent of the
eligible employee training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after the employer
pays the full cost of the training, and the employee successfully completes the
Hiring Coordination: OCIC works directly with any employer to identify
hiring needs, skills/qualifications necessary, and works with the employer to
develop a strategy around outreach, hiring, and pre-employment testing for all
candidates for jobs.
Response Coordination: This proactive and flexible program provides layoff
aversion services to employers, funds special projects or initiatives, and
helps workers affected by mass layoffs transition to reemployment. Employers
and employees who are facing a potential or current mass layoff or facility
closure are eligible for Rapid Response services.
In addition to these programs, OCIC and other community
members are heavily invested in preparing our youth for the jobs of today and
tomorrow. Established in 2014, the mission of the Ottawa County Business Advisory
Council (BAC) is to engage the business and education communities
to understand and support the educational and employment needs within
In 2017 and 2018, for example, Ohio ranked as #2 in the top
states by number of projects and as #3 in the top states by projects per
capita. Ohio also led the charge as the #1 ranked state in the top states by
most top micropolitan areas.
And for its second consecutive year, Toledo was ranked as #3 in the nation among mid-sized cities for economic development.
Offering ideal access to all major markets, a
business-friendly tax climate, noteworthy sites and buildings available for
development, and a strong labor force, Ottawa County is the ideal region for
new businesses and business expansion.
Are you interested in learning more about Ottawa County, our
available sites, or any of our other assets? Give us a call today at (419)