As Laura Bischoff of the Dayton Daily News?noted on the DDN‘s blog, a year ago during the height of the credit crunch, Governor Strickland and Huntington Bank announced that the State of Ohio and Huntington Bank were teaming up to commit $1 billion in small business loans in Ohio over the next three years.

Today, they announced that over 2,000 small to mid-sized businesses have benefited from the nearly half a billion in loans the partnership has already generated. These were loans that due to the credit freeze caused by the recession, these businesses would not otherwise get.?

From the Governor’s press release:

We tried other options but weren?t able to get the loan we needed. The loan we received through the Ohio Huntington Business Loan Program allowed us to acquire another lawn care business and expand, offering both residential and commercial services. It was a great opportunity for us to grow at a time when many other businesses were struggling to stay afloat,? said David H. Throndsen, owner and operator of Pro Lawn/Commercial Lawn, a family-owned business operating in the Columbus area since 1986. ?We are now able to look ahead and make plans to hire additional employees within the next year.?

“Creating jobs and helping businesses grow in the State of Ohio are the key areas of focus in this partnership,? said Governor Strickland.? ?We understand that one of the key opportunities for small business progress in the current economy is freeing up access to the credit that allows them to grow and create jobs. The success of this program in its first year demonstrates that we are making the right investment in Ohio businesses to help them lead Ohio?s economic recovery.?

Strickland has been a vocal advocate for ensuring that small business are able to gain access to the credit they need to grow and create jobs as the economy recovers. Yesterday, Strickland, along with SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, hosted a media conference call with reporters to discuss helping small businesses, including the ability to gain access to credit.

Last week, Strickland joined several of his fellow U.S. governors in a letter urging Congressional leadership to increase the size of Small Business Administration loans and temporarily extend successful Recovery Act provisions that make it easier for small businesses to invest and grow. In January, Strickland urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to make available federal resources to help manufacturers and small businesses get access to much-needed credit to stabilize their business and create jobs.

The joint partnership with Huntington also help maximize a program by State Treasurer Kevin Boyce that has helped Ohio become the national leader in job creation:

The program also leverages the Ohio Treasurer of State?s GrowNow linked deposit program, which gives small business owners a 3 percent rate reduction on bank interest rates on loans of up to $400,000, providing savings of up to $24,000 over two years. Through Huntington Bank, 34 businesses have taken advantage of the GrowNow program, with more than $10 million in loans.

Like the recent announcement of a partnership with General Electric to build the first offshore freshwater wind farm in North America, Strickland has shown that there is plenty the State of Ohio can, and has, done to work with the private sector to help Ohio recover from a global meltdown that started in John Kasich’s parent office on Wall Street.

Governor Strickland has announced partnership with Proctor & Gamble and similar public-private partnerships to help create Institutes throughout the Ohio University System to develop new, commercially viable clean energy technologies.

Time after time, Governor Strickland has shown the ability to develop common sense solutions that can remove or reduce obstacles in the economy that have prevented job growth.? He’s shown that these common sense programs, although not headline grabbing and “sexy,” they work and don’t require gimmicky and reckless tax cuts that are not likely to work, but are likely to bankrupt the State of Ohio.

While we have alot of work left to do in Ohio, these are just a small example of the kind of things Governor Strickland can point to show how he’s been turning Ohio around after the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

Then again, John Kasich invented Google.

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