Last updated: August 25. 2013 3:44AM - 136 Views

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The Lima News

Recently released data from JobsOhio show most of the 21,000 new jobs created by the state development group were tied to the expansion of home-grown companies already located in the state.

The new approach is welcome news to companies that have been in Ohio for years. It underscores a much-needed shift in state and local economic development strategy: less emphasis on attracting out-of-town companies and more emphasis on retaining and expanding businesses that have been in the state for years.

The Cincinnati Enquirer analyzed data obtained from JobsOhio on the nearly 300 projects across the state that received loans, grants, tax credits or logistical support of some kind last year. The analysis shows that state-supported projects helped retain about 55,000 jobs from companies already in Ohio and helped them add 13,000 more jobs through expansion.

Thatís almost nine times the 7,700 jobs created in 2012 by new businesses.

The change in approach is significant because government development agencies spend millions of taxpayer dollars every year in low-interest loans, grants and tax credits to help lure, keep or expand businesses. There was a time existing companies felt as if they had to threaten to leave Ohio in order to receive cooperation from state development department.

The new approach ensures existing companies are treated no differently than those companies Ohio is trying to bring in from the outside.

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