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State Treasurer Mandel in Sylvania says eastern Ohio gas drilling could help NW Ohio

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Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel speaks today to business leaders in Sylvania, including Laura Glover, left, marketing and development manager at the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce.

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Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel told local business owners that Ohio’s shale and gas industries could benefit Toledo’s manufacturing sector.

He was at a round-table discussion held at the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Sylvania today.

Mr. Mandel said lost jobs in the automotive industry in the I-75 corridor could benefit from the shale and oil exploration taking place in eastern Ohio.

“Lost jobs can be replaced with manufacturing parts for the oil and gas drilling industries," he said.

The state treasurer explained that the new industry is in its development stage, and the discovery of shale in the eastern region could benefit Toledo in two ways -- by driving down energy costs for businesses to enable them to use the savings to provide more jobs and by creating a new manufacturing sector to support the energy boom.

More than 10 business owners in the Sylvania area attended the hour long session at 9:30 a.m. today. It was hosted by the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Mandel also talked about low-interest loan initiatives supported by the state, such a the Grow Now program, and listened to suggestions on steps the state can take to make Ohio friendly for economic growth.

Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough spoke about the state's burdensome tax filing system that can be costly and time consuming for small business owners, such as himself as a owner of Stough and Stough Architects.

“I have contact with 10 different state agencies to run my five-member firm, and that seems like too many,” Mr. Stough said. “If there is some way the state of Ohio could roll some of those together, it would make life better for small business owners,” he said.

Mr. Stough suggested creating a gateway office as a one-stop shop for businesses to save time when filing workers compensation, unemployment, income tax, and other government documents.

Ohio is the only state where each city has its own business tax forms in the nation, Mr. Mandel said. Simplifying and standardizing the municipal income tax system could work in favor of mom-and-pop owned companies, he said.

Mr. Mandel also spoke about Ohio’s brain drain, and noted that many people he graduated college with have found jobs in other states. Ohio can stay competitive in the national and international economy, he said, by emphasizing “shovel ready jobs.”

"We need to create a generation of kids that are willing to get their hands dirty,” he said.

The right to work issue was briefly discussed. Mr. Mandel said that he supports a worker's right to choose what is best for his family, noting that neighboring states of Michigan and Indiana have right-to-work laws.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com.

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