The Montrose 100 – Top Ohio Companies in 2018

Middle market companies drive the Ohio economy. According to the Ohio State University National Center for the Middle Market, middle market companies constitute only 3% of the US companies but account for 1/3 of all US jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC, a Columbus, Ohio based economic development and public policy consulting firm, annually develops and publicizes the Montrose100 list to recognize growing and successful Ohio middle market companies producing high-wage jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio (CCEO) to develop the 2017 Montrose 100 list. For 100 years, CCEO has been the central organization for local chambers of commerce executives to network and participate in critical professional development activities. Local chambers of commerce remain where business leaders gather to work together on common business, economic development and public policy issues for the improvement of the community. 2018 Montrose 100 companies must meet the minimum qualifications list below and come from a diverse geographic background across the state.

2018 Montrose 100 Minimum Qualifications:

  • For-profit Ohio-based business with its headquarters in the Buckeye State
  • Business pays above average wages, exceeding the national average of $17 an hour
  • Business has revenues ranging from $10M to $500M
  • Business is growing at 20% or more in the past year


Please attached a short, one page outline on your company and why you are succeeding.

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State of Ohio Capital Budget – The Million Dollar Opportunity

Join us for a webinar on Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM EST

Every two years, the Governor and Ohio General Assembly reach agreement on a state of Ohio Capital Budget that includes community projects. Last Ohio General Assembly there were $1.25 B in community project requests and 358 projects were included in the capital budget bill totalling $156M. Join the Montrose Group, who is coordinating a webinar on behalf of the Ohio Economic Development Association, the state of Ohio’s leading voice for economic development professionals, to learn how to gain access to project funding for arts, cultural, sports, social service, health care, infrastructure, workforce and other economic development projects.

Local Chambers of Commerce & Business Groups Moving Forward with State Capital Budget Community Project Ranking Process

A critical requirement for success in many urban Ohio markets for those seeking state capital budget community project funding is to make the list of recommended projects set by the local business community. The support of the local chamber of commerce or business partnership organization illustrates support from the business, academic and local government leaders that often make up these organizations. This process was created decades ago by legislative leaders who were tired of managing the requests of competing constituents. Governor John Kasich has encouraged local business groups to make recommendation to his office as part of the process to recommend community project awards in the state of Ohio capital budget bill. These organizations cover the urban markets which gain a larger dollar amount than individual rural counties.

With the OBM Guidance Memo on the upcoming state capital budget released in late September, many of these local business trade associations have set deadlines for when applications must be filed including: Columbus Partnership (November 6, 2017), Toledo Chamber of Commerce (November 20, 2017), and Dayton Development Coalition (November 10, 2017).

However, making or not making the urban business group list of recommended projects does not guarantee success in the Statehouse. Members of the Ohio General Assembly will have their own application process and there opinion matters most. Also, urban business groups do not represent rural communities- that would be roughly 78 of the Ohio’s 88 counties. More capital budget funding has been flowing to rural communities. As an example, rural Ohio was the major winner in SB 310—the last state of Ohio capital budget bill. Ohio’s 73 rural counties gained 28% of the Community Project funding in SB 310 which is a jump of nearly 10% compared to the lasted capital bill for FY 2015-16. Business support for a state capital budget community project is important but is not the only game in town.

Ohio State Capital Budget: Art & Museum Community Projects, Infrastructure and Social Services Popular

The September, 2017 state Capital Budget Guidance memo released by Ohio Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen illustrates lobbying for the Capital Budget Community Projects has begun. A key question is what types of projects are actually funded based upon the recommendation of the Governor and passage by the Ohio General Assembly. The range of projects eligible for state capital budget Community Projects is based upon the state regulations and the state legislative process. Projects must be capital in nature and connected to a state agency either in the form ownership, partnership or through a joint use agreement. Community Projects includes initiatives built around agriculture, arts and museums, economic development, health care, infrastructure, parks, police and fire, social services, sports, telecommunications, veterans and workforce projects. Applicants for funding still range from local governments to university to community colleges and for profit and not for profit organizations.

The FY 2017-18 project types included for Community Projects saw the continued dominance by the arts community for museums, theaters, historical sites but the overall growth in the sector saw a dramatic decline of nearly $20,000,000 in funding. Project types that saw dramatic growth included infrastructure projects, including several parking facilities and a wide range of social service projects. The health care and social service industry in particular again secured a foothold with a number of Community Projects no doubt tied to the opioid crisis around Ohio while support for telecom, parks and workforce saw declines compared to the previous budget. Each state capital bill is different. The economy, government revenue flow and political leadership all impact the scale and scope of the capital budget bill and their Community Projects. Senate Bill 310, the FY 2017-18 capital budget bill, offers critical lobbying lessons for communities as well as public and private sector organizations planning to seek capital bill or other government funding.

Five-Step Public Affairs Lobbying Model Educates Policymakers and Voters

Termed-limited legislatures and a radically divided public demand a shift in how public policy advocates lobby to impact budget, tax, spending, regulatory and policy issues. No longer is merely advocating in City Hall, Statehouse or the Congress through meetings, attending fundraisers or testifying in legislative committees enough to succeed. Instead, a new public affairs model is need to not only educate policymakers on an issue but to educate that policymakers voters. Technology eases this process but a public affairs program is a new lobbying model that expands advocacy into five key steps.

Pittsburgh Corporate Site Location Economic and Market Highlights

Pittsburgh has transformed from a manufacturing job center to an advanced services economy as education and health services, financial activities, professional services and other services now dominate the region’s economy. But the Pittsburgh economy is not growing at the rate of its competitors as it struggles to maintain economic growth levels comparable with emerging southern, mid-sized communities. However, the Pittsburgh MSA remains the 25th largest MSA in the United States. Pittsburgh has a wide array of local and state taxes with high city taxes, but generally in line with competitors related to business taxes. The region has a low cost of living when comparing wages and rents, but has a high poverty rate and low median income. The region graduates 2,700 students a year in computer-related fields and has a higher than average rate of its populace with a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, population decline remains troubling as does a high-poverty rate, low median income and low labor participation rate.

David Robinson Contributes Economic Development Chapter to “Small Town Economic Development” book.

David Robinson has again been published on the topic of economic development this time focused on how smaller communities can create jobs through the use of tourism and other economic development tactics that play on their regional strengths. Small Town Economic Development, published by McFarland Books, is a collection of recent articles by experts presents stories of small-town America’s struggle and describes innovations and practices behind successful revivals. David Robinson contributed an article entitled “Tourism Impacts Economic Development.” Mr. Robinson illustrates how tourism can be part but not all a rural community can do to provide an economic revival. Small Town Economic Development was edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzales, III, Roger L. Kemp and Jonathan Rosenthal, and it outlines a wide range of small community economic development strategies successfully at work. The book can be found at McFarland Books.