Treece Blog: Toledo welcomes youWritten by Ben Treece | | email@example.com
When it comes to the local economy, there have been two major conversations taking place during the past few years. The first conversation centers around what could be done to spur economic growth in Northwest Ohio. The second conversation regards outside money flowing into Toledo, whether it be through Hollywood Casino Toledo or the purchase of the Marina District by foreign investors. Many Toledoans may have forgotten or may not have realized that outside capital is what made our community great, even putting us on the map as the Glass City.
To imagine that residents alone are going to be able to provide the financial resources to boost Toledo’s economy is an unobtainable dream. Imagine if the City of Toledo were to tax citizens at an obscenely high rate, and then deploy that capital locally. Money would have changed hands without any real net effect. Money coming from outside the region is what will ignite the growth that we need to see — history proves it so.
The Stranahan family is one that has invested a great deal of time, money and support into the Toledo community, but they were not originally from Toledo. Robert and Frank Stranahan founded Champion Spark Plug in 1908 in Boston, but moved to Toledo in 1910. In the past 103 years, the Stranahan family’s impact on the area is easily noticed; between the Stranahan Theater, the R.A. Stranahan Arboretum and more, the Stranahans certainly invested heavily in Toledo.
Charles Dana joined what would become the Dana Corporation and the Dana Foundation, but was not a Toledo native. Dana was originally from New York. While originally incorporated in 1904 by Clarence Spicer, Dana moved to Toledo in 1928, but has since relocated to Maumee. According to its website, Dana employees more than 20,000 people worldwide.
Edward Drummond Libbey was born in Chelsea, Mass., but moved here to open Libbey Glass Company in 1888. In 1903, Libbey founded the Owens Bottle Machine Company with Michael Joseph Owens (who was born in West Virginia but also relocated to Toledo), which would later become known as O-I. Libbey once again delivered jobs and money to Toledo by starting the Libbey-Owens Sheet Glass Company in 1916. Aside from making Toledo the Glass City, Libbey also founded the Toledo Museum of Art, even donating a substantial portion of his art collection over the span of his life.
All of these families brought business to Toledo, and their future generations invested capital and resources to make the community better. Today we do not offer outside money the same warm welcome. When Hollywood was coming to town, many citizens were hesitant to show support, despite the fact that the casino was sure to provide thousands of local jobs and has provided substantial funds to local schools and charities. The development of the Marina District has been met with similar resistance, as some citizens fear overseas investment in Toledo could somehow inexplicably be bad for the local economy.
We do not live in the same world that we did 100 years ago, or even 25 years ago. Advancements in technology have allowed us to invest in ways that we never before could. Instead of money coming to Toledo from Massachusetts or New York, we now see money coming from China or Germany. If Toledo ever wants to thrive the way it once did, we need to welcome these investors with open arms to our wonderful community.
Ben Treece is a 2009 graduate from the University of Miami (Fla.), BBA International Finance and Marketing. He is a partner with Treece Investment Advisory Corp (www.TreeceInvestments.com) and licensed with FINRA through Treece Financial Services Corp. The above information is the opinion of Ben Treece and should not be construed as investment advice or used without outside verification.