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Business leaders promote Ohio’s rise in economic competitiveness in new study

Written on Apr 21, 2023

 Provided by Hannah News Service 

An economic competitiveness study discussed in the Senate Small Business and Economic Opportunity Committee Tuesday and then released at a Statehouse press conference ranked Ohio 13th nationally in 2022 -- up from 24th in 2018 -- and second in the Great Lakes region. 

Timothy Nash, director of the McNair Center at Northwood University in Michigan, presented the study. He told the committee the “greatest challenge” to further improving Ohio’s position is its tax policy, as that is “too complicated,” particularly due to differences in tax burden within the state. 

Ohio ranked behind Indiana, which he said is also very business-friendly and the best state in the region for taxes. Areas where Nash said Ohio is doing well included ranking eighth in workforce composition and cost, which he said reflects programs and training in the trades and Ohio’s higher education institutions. It was third in “labor and capital formation” and 18th for regulatory environment as well. 

Nash also praised Ohio for its balanced budget, contrasting it against Illinois there. He told the committee Ohio had been 42nd overall in 2013, indicating “great progress” since then. 

Among metrics used in the study, Ohio ranked first for the lowest average annual price of a car insurance policy at $1,023 due to past changes in state regulations. The Great Lakes region average is $1,498. 

Other metrics he described included the following: 

- Ohio was seventh-lowest in the “Big Mac Index,” which measures prices on the basis that a Big Mac is the same around the country and internationally. 

- Ohio was ninth for U-Haul travel into the state as opposed to away from it. 

- Ohio was 12th in the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s (MERIC) cost of living index. 

In the committee hearing, Lang called the study “critical to Ohio’s future.” Nash had previously given a presentation to the Business First Caucus, and Lang discussed the caucus’ goals to increase the state economy from around $750 billion now to $1 trillion by 2030 -- which will make Ohio the fastest-growing state economy -- and return to 16 or more members in the U.S. House. 

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