Ontario strives to create a business-friendly environment for both existing and new businesses. Regardless if your business is manufacturing, medical, energy, service or retail oriented, the area offers unique advantages to benefit your business. Ontario thrives as the retail center of Richland County and draws regionally from a 5 county area. Ontario is located conveniently between Columbus and Cleveland, offering several main routes in and out of the city to offer convenient access regardless of the direction you need to travel. Ontario also sits conveniently located to take advantage of 3 major airports: Cleveland, Columbus, and Akron-Canton.

Let us help connect you to:

  • City and Regional Business Development experts and the Mayor of Ontario
  • Commercial real estate companies to assist your property and facility search
  • Statewide resources
  • Forms, regulations, and other critical information to help with your planning and decision making
  • Current Business Owner referrals so you can personally learn about the business community of Ontario and Richland County.

This section of our website continues to evolve as the needs of new and existing businesses change. Check back often for new additions and tools. We are always interested in your feedback as a business owner to enhance the section. Check out the Community Partners page to further assist you with information available through our community organizations.

New Businesses


Planning & Permitting



Ontario offers a diversity of road and rail networks, services, and amenities that are attractive for a wide range and businesses. Easily accessible to Interstate 71, State Route 30, and State Route 13.

Doing business in Ontario, Ohio is easy. We offer:

  • Large master-planned Ontario Industrial Park
  • Dual feed electric capabilities
  • Shovel-ready commercial properties for sale or lease
  • Commercial buildings for lease or sale
  • Highly-educated workforce: majority of residents have bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Three state interchanges within t5 miles of the Ontario Industrial Park
  • Business incubator for startups and technology firms
  • State college university branch
  • Information and technology, corporate office, personal care and beauty and healthcare campuses
  • A quality of life that emphasizes education, culture, leisure and health
  • Sustainable development principles to protect investment
  • Progressive economic development programs
  • Competitive incentive packages
  • Streamlined planning process
  • Attentive and experienced economic development team

91.17 Job Creation Tax Credit

  • (a) An Ontario Job Creation Tax Credit (Ontario JCTC) is hereby created within the City of Ontario which may be authorized by the Council of the City of Ontario by Ordinance for individual companies that meet the following minimum thresholds:
    • (1) Eligible companies. Any non-point of final purchase retail project, which commits to the creation of new, full-time, or full-time equivalent jobs in the City of Ontario. These new, full-time, or full-time equivalent jobs must be created, and maintained, by the company (Company) within three years of the granting of the Ontario JCTC incentive. An eligible company must currently be paying, or will be paying, municipal incomes taxes.
    • (2) Eligible projects. Eligible projects may include headquarter, manufacturing, science and technology, research and development, distribution, and certain types of service projects that have applied for State of Ohio development assistance.
    • (3) Each applicant must concurrently apply for, and secure, a State of Ohio Jobs Creations Tax Credit Agreement as authorized by Ohio R.C. 122.17. (This is a mandatory program requirement.) Local application must be made to the Clerk of City Council.
    • (4) At least 25 new, full-time jobs must be created and maintained by the Company within three years of initial operations. If employment subsequently falls below 25 new full-time jobs, the credit may only continue if the Ohio JCTC is allowed to continue by the State of Ohio.
    • (5) The average hourly base wage rate (excluding benefits) of the project’s new, full-time, or full-time equivalent jobs for three years must be at, or above, 150% of the higher of the U.S. Federal minimum wage or the Ohio minimum wage (average income jobs).
    • (6) If the project involves an expansion or consolidation of an existing facility, the Company must commit to retaining the current number of employees. The Ontario JCTC will apply only to the net new, full-time, or full-time equivalent positions in the project within the City of Ontario.
    • (7) The project must involve a substantial fixed-asset investment in land, building, machinery/equipment, and/or infrastructure.
    • (8) The project must not have already begun. The applicant shall not make a public announcement of the proposed project prior to receiving JCTC program approvals from both the State of Ohio and the Ontario City Council. Employees hired prior to the above-referenced approvals cannot be counted as eligible, new employees for the purpose of the tax credit programs.
    • (9) The Company must agree to maintain operations at the project site for at least twice the term of the tax credit, up to 20 years.
  • (b) For companies meeting the above criteria when approved by City Council, the following criteria shall apply:
    • (1) Refundable income tax credits shall be established by a written Ontario Jobs Creation Tax Credit Agreement with each Company as authorized by Ordinance of City Council. The tax credit under this Agreement shall not exceed ten (10) years.
    • (2) The rate of each tax credit will be established by the Ontario City Council, which may grant a higher rate for a company that will have a combination of high paying jobs and/or a large number of jobs. Consideration of the location of the project and the difficulty in occupying the site also may be considered. In no case shall the Ontario JCTC credit exceed 50% of the additional income tax revenue generated from the jobs associated with the application.
    • (3) The tax credit shall be measured by the income taxes actually collected from the qualifying new jobs and may be applied against the tax on the Company’s net profits.
    • (4) Under no circumstances shall the term of the tax credit exceed that provided to the applicant under the State of Ohio Jobs Creation Tax Credit Agreement as authorized by the Ohio R.C. 122.17.
    • (5) Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the Ontario Jobs Creation Tax Credit Agreement may result in the loss of subsequent credit for the duration of the agreement by action of the City Council after notice and an opportunity to respond. The Agreement shall contain terms and provisions for the recovery or “claw back” to address situations in which the Company moves out of the City of Ontario during the term required in subsection (a)(9) hereof. Recovery and “claw back” being the repayment of all or a portion of previous granted tax credits or refunds. The Agreement shall also provide for annual review by Council to determine compliance.
    • (6) The participant shall comply with all applicable Municipal Codes, Regulations and Rules. Further, the Company shall provide copies of all required reports to the Ohio Department of Development, in duplicate to City Council, required as a part of the obligations and terms of the Ohio JCTC. (Ord. 10-48. Passed 10-21-10.) TIF- Tif is a financing method that is used as a subsidy for redeveloping, infrastructure and other improvements. The city of Ontario has three TIF districts available. CRA- Community investment Area is a program that provides real property tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings. Ontario has three available CRA districts ready for development.