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Economy and Business

Cleveland-area companies show more optimism
Northeast Ohio's mid-size companies are more confident of growth

Kelli Fitzpatrick
In The Region:

 Mid-size companies in the Northeast Ohio are more optimistic about boosts in revenue and employment this year than companies of the same size nationwide.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership surveyed 100 companies considered “middle market.” That means they make $10 million to $1 billion a year and employ 100 to three-thousand workers.

Nearly 30 percent of them expect revenue to grow 5 to 9 percent in the next year; nationwide, only 21 percent of similar businesses expect the same.

The partnership's Rob Recker says the confidence of the region is an important first step.

RECKER Revenue first, then jobs

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"Optimism in the revenue growth is going to translate into that job creation we really want to see in Northeast Ohio."

And the survey shows about a third of the businesses in the Northeast Ohio region expect to increase their number of employees by at least 5 percent.

Jack Schron is vice president of a mid-size manufacturer, Jergen’s Inc. He says the region has two core strengths.

SCHRON medical plus manufacturering
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"You've got the medical and the manufacturing being the two positive cornerstones going on here, where some communities have given up their manufacturing and don't have the medical to fall back on. And they've been relying on service sectors as their core.
"And unfortunately, people thought that that service sector couldn't leave the United States; they thought that manufacturing was easier to leave. When in reality, the manufacturing is coming back and the service sectors are probably easier locate the call centers into India or China or places like that."

But  Schron says manufacturers in the region remain  concerned about controlling costs and dealing with regulations. 

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