Ohio Entrepreneurship Expo: Enhancing State’s Economy Through Innovation of Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Columbus, Ohio (PRESS RELEASE – February 21, 2010) — Last February 18, 2010, the daylong Ohio Entrepreneurship Expo celebrated the vital economic contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a theme of “Enhancing Ohio’s Economy through Entrepreneurial Thinking,” the Expo, that was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus, offer entrepreneurs and business owners opportunities to network and connect with resources to help them succeed in today’s economy.

Ohio’s supportive business environment and business development programs create an ideal location for small business growth and expansion, according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment.

“Recently, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranked Ohio first in the Midwest and 11th in the nation for small businesses,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “These rankings are testaments to the state’s commitment to our small businesses. The Entrepreneurship Expo was an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn, network, and discover the benefits of investing in Ohio.”

The Ohio Department of Development’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division and the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio are hosting the Expo in celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week Feb. 20 to Feb. 27 and the 25th anniversary of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Other sponsors include: The U.S. Small Business Administration, Merrill Lynch, Ohio Chamber, Columbus Today, Telhio, Columbus Radio Group, Wendy’s, Ohio Credit Union League, and Credit Union Association.

The event includes sessions for entrepreneurs on topics such as starting a business, opportunities in green technology, government contracts, business success planning, and protecting business information.

“Year after year, Ohio consistently leads the U.S. in business start-up, growth and expansion because it offers entrepreneurs and small businesses all they need to succeed, including access to capital, knowledge and skilled labor, an extensive supply chain and markets for goods and services,” said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. “Ohio’s low-overhead-cost structure and central location within easy reach of customers and suppliers in key industries also provide the most affordable choice for sales, distribution and manufacturing operations in North America.”

He noted that Ohio has a number of programs for entrepreneurs, pre-seed funding opportunities, incentives, research programs and business assistance to help businesses grow and prosper, including Ohio Third Frontier, a 10-year, $1.6 billion initiative to expand high-tech research capabilities and promote innovation and company formation that will create high-paying jobs for generations to come.

“In addition, entrepreneurs and business owners enjoy a work-life balance in Ohio that they can find nowhere else in the world,” he said. “The convenience of travel, with short commutes from work to home, lower stress and give more time to priority family activities. In Ohio, you can build your business and love your life without having to sacrifice one for the other. It’s truly the State of Perfect Balance.”

Speakers for the program include, Karen Shari, Interim State SBDC Director; Iris Cooper, Director of the Entrepreneurship Small Business Division; Gilbert Goldberg, U.S. Small Business Administration District Director, Cleveland; Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, U.S. SBA Regional Administrator; Bob Juniper, CEO 3C Body Shop; and Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development.

For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

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