Toledo Talk

Attracting different big businesses to Toledo?

Reading this article:

It makes me wonder how Toledo positions itself for this type of big win. With our location and low cost of real estate, we should be able to lure things like this into the area...

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see the progress that is happening at the old Jeep plant... but how can we aim for something huge?

created by upso on Feb 01, 2017 at 01:39:37 pm     Business     Comments: 1

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I'm not an expert, and I look forward to reading input from those who know. But I think the business of attracting large employers/enterprises requires a group of high-level people whose main focus is attracting economic development.

I think they have to travel quite a bit and belong to numerous economic development groups and rent hotel suites at expensive venues in order to gain some traction with big spenders outside this immediate area.

I also believe it's more cost-effective to try to market an entire region, and not just a city. In any case, such efforts are dependent on public funding (or public/private mix). The average taxpayer in town does not like to think that city tax money is going to pay a six-figure salary to multiple, connected businesspeople whose efforts may or may not be successful.

But spread across a region, the tax burden might feel more manageable to local residents. There is a perceived downside when a "region" partner gets the new plant and not "the city of Toledo."

Having said all that, it would be awesome if a grassroots effort could coalesce around this issue, and brainstorm some smaller-scale solutions. I think we're getting used to the idea now that the small guy and gal have untapped abilities to change the status quo. Technology certainly makes that easier.

Perhaps an alt-Chamber or rogue citizens' commission could make some progress towards this goal. Just thinking up the name for this group would be fine entertainment, worth several beers!

P.S. The city of Toledo has a Department of Development (who knew?) employing these individuals:

Calvin Lawshe, Director - 419-245-1600
Bill Burkett, Commissioner - 419-245-1692
Steven Powell, Manager of Development 419-245-1044
and Brandon Sehlhorst, Manager of Real Estate
[from city website]

posted by viola on Feb 01, 2017 at 04:32:11 pm     #