Why International Businesses Choose Cleveland Plus

The Cleveland Plus, or Northeast Ohio, region offers an ideal environment for international business operations. With a robust, $195 billion economy, this 18-county business growth region is globally recognized for its logistics infrastructure, skilled work force, corporate-friendly tax structure, low cost of doing business and exceptional quality of life.

Manufacturing, technology and professional services companies from around the world have established operations in Northeast Ohio, where they enjoy easy access to U.S. and Canadian markets, two million talented workers, financial incentive programs and supportive communities.

Watch this video to learn why foreign-owned companies choose Cleveland Plus as the location for their North American presence. Download this brochure to learn more about the advantages Cleveland Plus offers and the specialized foreign investment services Team NEO provides.

International Companies Operating in Cleveland Plus

Northeast Ohio is home to more than 600 foreign-owned businesses.

Foreign-Owned Companies in Northeast Ohio

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A Welcoming, Supportive Community

As a Cleveland Plus business, you will meet key business and community leaders who can help you make valuable business connections to a variety of banking, accounting, legal and freight-forwarding organizations. Additionally, we offer international resources to support you as you evaluate your location choices, make your move and conduct business in the months and years to come:

Proximity to Major U.S. Markets

Centrally located between New York City and Chicago, Cleveland Plus offers a broad range of efficient, low-cost transportation and shipping options to U.S. and Canadian markets:

  • Cleveland International Airport and Akron-Canton Regional Airport
  • Five interstate highways
  • Six deepwater ports
  • Three Class I railroads
  • Two international waterway connections
  • Two intermodal terminals

Within 800 km (a one-day drive) of Cleveland Plus, businesses have convenient access to 43% of the U.S. population, 43% of the Canadian population and 56% of Fortune 500 U.S. headquarters. This region reaches the largest number of consumers within a 250-mile radius of any U.S. metro market.

An Educated, Productive Workforce

Home to a diverse, dedicated and talented work force of more than two million, Northeast Ohio is committed to excellence in education. The region’s 26 colleges and universities award 45,000 post-secondary degrees and certificates annually and provide a pipeline of talented workers. Whether your business requires scientists, engineers, machinists or other professionals, you’ll find the talent you need right here.

Cleveland Plus also offers a variety of International Baccalaureate Programs to educate students from their primary years through high school (diploma programs) as well as a number of International Language Schools .

Northeast Ohio’s central location allows quick market access to more than half of North America, including Canada. In fact, almost 50% of the U.S. population and 60% of all U.S. Fortune 500 headquarters are within 500 miles/805 km of Cleveland Plus.

Low cost of doing business


International businesses find that it costs less to do business in the Cleveland Plus region than in most other major U.S. cities. A report released by Ernst & Young LLP and the Council on State Taxation (COST) ranks Ohio among the top three states for favorable business tax rates on new investments. Our strategic location and proximity to major markets reduces shipping time and rates and our lower hourly wages and competitive real estate options make us a cost-efficient alternative to many other regions.

Financial Incentives

Northeast Ohio’s state and local tax incentives, grants and low-interest financing alternatives offer international businesses the opportunity to reduce risk and costs, enhance productivity, attract talent and maximize return on investment.

The Cleveland Plus region’s two foreign trade zones – FTZ No. 40 and FTZ No. 181 – offer global shippers significant savings and have helped Ohio achieve the number-one ranking across the United States in number of exporting companies. FTZ No. 181 is the second-largest foreign trade zone in the country.

Outstanding Quality of Life

The vibrant Cleveland Plus region offers everything employees need -- from affordable housing, reliable public transportation and world-renowned hospitals to thriving cultural centers, extraordinary restaurants and virtually limitless entertainment and recreational venues. The cost of living is reasonable in Northeast Ohio, too -- more than 10% lower than the national average.

Cost of living calculator

Cleveland Skyline at night Downtown Landscape Downtown Akron Aerial View

How Team NEO Can Help

Team NEO is committed to continually strengthening Northeast Ohio’s economy by helping businesses establish successful operations here. On a confidential, no-fee basis, we will serve as your single point of contact for the entire region, providing you with information and insights to help you make an informed location decision. Should you choose Cleveland Plus, we offer a broad range of support services to help you establish your operation and build relationships critical to your business success.

Among the many free services Team NEO will provide:

  • Information related to our work force, supply chain and logistics, utilities, incentives, taxes, sites and buildings, banking, housing and immigration/visa procedures
  • Business insights from our econometric research staff to help you evaluate revenue opportunities, risks and potential shareholder return
  • Introductions to business and civic leaders and organizations
  • Access and referrals to a network of international service providers network
  • Match making/ business partnership opportunities to help you enter the market
  • EB5 program

Please contact us at any time for more information about Cleveland Plus or to discuss your specific interests and needs.

Business Attraction

  • Bernardine van Kessel

    Director, International Business Attraction