Business First

Business FirstCreated in 2001, and nationally recognized, the BUSINESSFIRST! program uses a customer-oriented approach to economic development that connects businesses to resources in the Dayton Region. We are the single point of contact for all of your business needs. BUSINESSFIRST! has provided assistance to over 6,500 businesses in the Greater Dayton Region - we are here to assist your company, too. We want to hear from all kinds of businesses. We're especially interested in learning about companies that are:

  • Considering acquiring another company, being acquired or merging
  • Considering a facility expansion
  • Encountering barriers to business growth
  • Experiencing infrastructure, utility, or security issues
  • Having difficulty finding the qualified person(s)
  • Having difficulty navigating local land development and/or regulatory processes

Protect My Business

Protecting your business means protecting it from lawsuits, theft, and disasters. It also involves creating a succession plan so your business continues under new management. Privacy Laws and Non-disclosure Agreements are but one example. Cyber Security is an ever-changing arena that almost every company must address. Our sections on this topic are a start in that process. Cyber Attacks are increasingly real.

Regional Workforce Profile

The BusinessFirst! regional footprint contains almost half a million jobs (445,762). Major employment sectors include Government, due in part to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio's largest single-site employer (30,000 jobs), Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Professional Services. The region has benefitted from new companies choosing to locate here and the expansion of its companies. For example, since 2014, the BusinessFirst! region has seen a resurgence in manufacturing, resulting in a 12% increase in manufacturing jobs, which greatly exceeds the national average (5%).

Regional Workforce Demographic Data (Emsi Data, 2020)

  • Average Earnings (2019): $59,100
  • High School Diploma (2019): 89.7%
  • Jobs (2019): 445,762
  • Population (2019): 898,916
  • Some College Education or Above (2019): 58.6%

Regional Workforce Resources

There are many resources throughout the greater Dayton region to assist businesses in finding the talent needed in their operations such as:

  • SOCHE: The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education formed in 1967 and is a regional consortium of 20 colleges and universities in southwest Ohio. SOCHE is the collaborative infrastructure for higher education, helping colleges and universities transform their communities and economies through the education, employment, and engagement of more than 120,000 students in southwest Ohio.
  • Employer Services at OhioMeansJobs | Montgomery County: OhioMeansJobs | Montgomery County (formerly The Job Center) provides many services to employers in the area. Some include job posting, pre-screening, private interview rooms, assessment and testing, wage subsidy programs, mass recruiting, and more.
  • Summer Youth Works at OhioMeansJobs | Montgomery County: The Summer Youth Works program at OhioMeansJobs | Montgomery County provides employers with youth ages 14 to 17. Montgomery County provides the training and wages for the youth and the employers help provide youth with meaningful work experience. The youth are our future and Montgomery County wants to work with businesses to develop the future talent of the region.