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Finkbeiner maps plan to rejuvenate business

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Carty Finkbeiner talks about his 'entrepreneurial game plan.'

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Carty Finkbeiner released an "entrepreneurial game plan" yesterday that will serve as one of his core policy proposals during his run for Toledo mayor.

Mr. Finkbeiner's economic plan, which spoke of creating a "public and private business culture that views entrepreneurs as a resource," characterized the city's current entrepreneurial climate as "tepid."

The plan called for working with Detroit and Ann Arbor to create a region that would work together to lure investment and research, particularly the "technologies of the future:" computers, robotics, and the health industry. He declined to give specifics about incentives he would offer potential businesses, saying he would do so later.

As for venture and investment capital, Mr. Finkbeiner said he would lobby hard for state funds from the Third Frontier Project, a state program offering financial incentives for high-tech innovation and research, which he said has given little money to northwest Ohio.

He also said he would ask that local treasurers not donate to Ohio's State Treasury Asset Reserve fund, an investment pool operated by the state treasurer. Mr. Finkbeiner said the fund does not invest in Ohio projects, but rather in out-of-state and overseas ventures to get a higher return on the fund.

Instead, Mr. Finkbeiner said he would ask that any local money going to the STAR fund be instead invested in the area to create a local economic "ripple effect."

Mr. Finkbeiner said he would pursue local foundations for venture capital, including such funds as the Toledo Community Foundation Inc. and the Stranahan Foundation.

Mayor Jack Ford defended his record in attracting businesses, noting that he received an award in 2004 for economic development from the U.S. Small Business Association, worked with DaimlerChrysler AG to bring new Jeep supplier plants into the area, and worked with Dana Corp. to bring 300 jobs from Fort Wayne, Ind., to Toledo.

As of yesterday, five mayoral candidates have filed well over the 750 petitions required to appear on the ballot, though the signatures have yet to be validated. Mr. Finkbeiner and Mr. Ford both filed signatures yesterday, along with Independent candidate Martin Okonski. Independent candidates Opal Covey and Donald Gozdowski also have filed.

Candidates Rob Ludeman and Keith Wilkowski are expected to file today, the deadline. Election officials hope to have all signatures validated by next week.

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