Business Facilities Staff

As the slow pace of the economic recovery continues to impact many industries, you will need to restructure your distribution networks to maximize efficiency and minimize miles to capitalize on better economic days to come.


As the slow pace of the economic recovery continues to impact many industries, you will need to restructure your distribution networks to maximize efficiency and minimize miles to capitalize on better economic days to come.

Logical Solutions for the Logistics Industry

BF Staff




Ohio Corporate Moves

Ohio Companies Making a Material Difference in Advanced Energy In recent years, Ohio has made significant commitments to the support of advanced and alternative energy solutions, including the adoption of renewable portfolio standards and a State Job Stimulus program in advanced energy. Ohio Third Frontier also has made major investments, accelerating the success of advanced energy projects and industries in Ohio. Underlying many of the successes in advanced energy is Ohio’s breadth and depth of world-class competencies in the area of advanced materials, which has also been a major focus for investment by Ohio Third Frontier. Whether improving on more mature energy technologies such as wind turbines or leading the development of next generation solar, research and commercialization of advanced materials is making Ohio a recognized source for alternative and renewable energy solutions. Located in Kent, AlphaMicron, Inc. has been capitalizing on the depth of liquid-crystalline materials expertise that has emerged at Kent State University over the past two decades and has given rise to the Liquid Crystal Display industry. A major product focus of the company has been the use of liquid crystal materials to create actively lightening and darkening lenses for motorcycle helmets, ski goggles, and designer sunglasses. The same switchable property of the liquid crystals that makes these applications possible is now being applied, with Ohio Third Frontier funding, to an energy conservation product. AlphaMicron is developing the world’s first auto-adjusting “Adaptive Window.” The window is based on the company’s VALiD™ liquid crystal-based technology to create an adaptive film that can be laminated to windows and has a self-regulating and photovoltaic-powered electronically controllable tint. The window will transmit more winter sunlight to assist with heating and less summer sunlight to minimize overheating, thus transforming windows from a source of energy loss to one of energy gain. Market applications targeted for AlphaMicron’s window include greenhouses, automobiles, and office and residential buildings. Several years ago, Miamisburg’s WebCore Technologies, Inc. began working closely with leading research laboratories including the Air Force Research Lab, located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, to develop an advanced polymer composite panel system. Initially, the product concepts focused on marine (e.g., bulkheads) and infrastructure (bridge decks) applications that could benefit from the new material which is lighter, stronger, and more durable than the steel and other metals it would replace. These very same properties may make WebCore’s technology an ideal material solution for the wind power industry. The company is now developing the TYCOR® polymer […]



60 Seconds with Dennis M. Mullen, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Development

60 Seconds with Dennis M. Mullen, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Development

Dennis Mullen recently was officially named chairman of New York’s Empire State Development agency, which has been actively involved in revamping the state’s incentives programs. BF: The elimination of the Empire Zones program on June 30 has generated a lot of controversy across New York. What will you replace it with? DM: Since its creation in 1986, the Empire Zones Program has gone through numerous revisions and lost its original focus of attracting new business and enabling existing businesses to expand and create more jobs in economically distressed areas of the state. The Governor’s decision to sunset the flawed Empire Zone program and implement a new economic development program addresses the need for accountability and administrative efficiency, while providing a strategic focus that more narrowly targets state incentives to key sectors of our struggling economy. BF: Will converting incentives from loans to grants if specified job targets are met generate more economic development activity in the state and more relocations of businesses to New York? DM: ESD’s assistance is typically provided in the form of a loan or a grant. Recently, ESD has been offering loans that convert to grants if certain investment and job creation milestones are met. While loans and convertible loans have the potential to return funds back to ESD, all of our products are deployed to “win the project” and each is considered equally effective, based on the situation, to induce the project and create economic activity. BF: The Tax Foundation ranks New York near the bottom of its annual Business Tax Climate index. What are the most important steps you can take to improve NY’s competitive position? DM: We’ve created an economic development plan we believe is tight and focused. It concentrates on both job development and capital investment. Our go-to market strategy is a balanced approach centered around four key pillars: partnering with business and academic leadership; supporting New Economy job growth and capital investment; maintaining our core competency in manufacturing; and providing access to capital for small business. We believe [with] this strategy we will make great strides towards a more business-friendly and competitive New York. BF: Is New York positioned to be a leader in alternative energy manufacturing and renewable energy generation? DM: Yes, definitely. New York has one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the country: the “45 by 15” initiative. By 2015, New York State will meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy. This initiative [will create] an estimated […]


Offshore Drilling Halt Could Slash Jobs

Offshore Drilling Halt Could Slash Jobs

President Obama’s announcement last week indefinitely suspending work at 33 deepwater drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico has state officials in the Gulf region making dire forecasts of potential job losses as a result of the shutdown. The president imposed a moratorium on operations at the deepest offshore drilling operations in the wake of BP’s disaster in the Gulf, which has poured an estimated 39 million gallons of crude oil into the ecosystem in the wake of the explosion and sinking of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in April. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that 22 of the 33 rigs covered by the president’s order are off the coast of Louisiana. Moret added that it is possible that some of the remaining 11 could be rigs that were scheduled to start operations in Louisiana waters in the next few months. Moret has three scenarios for how bad the moratorium could be for Louisiana’s economy: In the near term, Moret believes the state will lose 3,000 to 6,000 direct and indirect jobs; if the suspensions are maintained, this could rise to 10,000 jobs; and if the moratorium persists while oil prices rise, the state could lose 20,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months in the form of lost direct and indirect jobs, and missed job creation opportunities because rising petroleum prices stimulate more energy development. “There’s definitely a real risk that some of these rigs could be moved outside of the Gulf of Mexico because of the cost of keeping them idle, the regulatory uncertainty and opportunities in other parts of the world, ” Moret told the Times-Picayune. Others are convinced that rigs will be floated to foreign waters, and if they’re moved, it will take two to three years for the equipment to finish up its new contracts elsewhere and come back. “The drilling equipment and the rigs, if they know that they can’t work for the next six months, they’ll re-deploy to the rest of the world. It will be a lot longer than the next six months, ” said Otto Candies III, secretary/treasurer of the Des Allemands marine transport company Otto Candies LLC.



United We Stand

  A small news item caught our eye the other day, and we hope it is a sign of the times. This is what it said: “Twinsburg, Ohio and Solon, Ohio, have agreed to limit the tax incentives they can offer to lure businesses away from each other, hoping rather that economic development for both communities will improve with regional cooperation.” These two neighbors in the Buckeye State are on to something that is much more important than simply declaring a partial truce in their competition to secure new businesses for their communities. The unity of purpose they have embraced is sorely needed everywhere, for challenges big and small. This same spirit can keep the world from tipping over the precipice of proliferating weapons of mass destruction. It can lift regions and nations out of an all-encompassing economic malaise. It can convert destructive gases into renewable resources that will not threaten our most precious lands and oceans. It might even convince our leaders to put aside their political mudfights and conduct the public’s business to the benefit of all. And it can honor a courageous heritage bestowed upon us from those who came before us. It is our responsibility to preserve this legacy and deliver it unbroken to the generations to come. On Monday, we will remember all of those who came together and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberty. Their common purpose and courage is a beacon that lights our way as we move past the dark shadows that threaten our future. It is up to us to lift that beacon and carry it forward, which can only be done together. Have a great holiday, everyone.


Illinois BIO Gets OK for Start-up Incentives

Illinois BIO Gets OK for Start-up Incentives

The Illinois General Assembly has passed—with overwhelming bipartisan support—an Angel Tax Credit that incentivizes early-stage investment in Illinois technology companies. The governor is expected to sign the bill (SB 2093) or a second measure (SB 3710) with an identical Angel Tax Credit sent over to the Senate yesterday by the House. The legislation, which when enacted will be effective on January 1, 2011, provides “angel” and early-stage institutional investors with a capped 25 percent credit against state taxes when the investors provide funding to small, early-stage technology firms. The effort to enact the credit was led statewide over a two-year period by the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), which built a large statewide coalition in support of the measure. iBIO’s President and CEO David Miller hailed the bill’s passage as a major step forward. “Today’s most powerful job engines are small innovative firms. Yesterday Illinois took a huge step in helping to create and attract those companies,” he said. “It’s great news for our economic recovery and for the future of Illinois.” The Kauffman Foundation, National Academies of Science, Brookings Institute and others have identified small innovative companies as the keys to global competitiveness and job creation, identifying them as major drivers of tax revenues and needed public services. Although Illinois is a leading state for many types of basic research, it has lagged other states in providing supportive programs for early-stage technology firms. “The Angel Tax Credit constitutes a big step in changing that situation,” Miller said. “The sleeping giant is waking up.” Miller praised members of the state General Assembly. Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) authored the bill that passed and pushed relentlessly for its passage. According to Miller,“Senator Kotowski deserves great credit and the community’s heartfelt thanks.” The primary legislative champion for the Angel Tax Credit and other startup programs in the General Assembly over the last two years, Miller said, was Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago). “Rep. Mendoza is an inexhaustible champion for building jobs and prosperity in Illinois,” Miller said. “She created a remarkable coalition of advocates in the House and worked with the leadership, other legislators and Governor Quinn’s office to make this happen. Illinois’ innovation community couldn’t ask for a better supporter.” “To make important changes in state policy, you need tireless leadership. iBIO provided that leadership. Without iBIO’s unflagging devotion to the twin causes of technology startups and job creation, this never would have happened. Illinois is a better place to do business today because of iBIO,” responded Rep. Mendoza. According to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie […]