Three Ohio Cities Rank Among Top Ten Metropolitans for Easiest, Most Affordable Commutes by Kiplinger

Ohio's low-cost, low-stress commutes offer better work-life balance for executives, employees and their families

Mar 15, 2011, 08:00 ET from Ohio Business Development Coalition

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rush hour and gridlock doesn't just wear on your tires and your transmission. Spending hours on the highway instead of devoting that time to personal passions also can negatively impact psyche and ambition. For business owners and employees, a daily commute can make or break the access to time for personal passions.

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Today's executives are challenged to find a perfect balance between growing a successful business and finding access to the time required to also enjoy an enriching personal life. Living a more balanced life is becoming the new definition of the "American Dream." According to a 2009 study commissioned by Northwestern Mutual, balance rated as more important than career, money and material possession. Participants said spending quality time with family, being a good parent and living a healthy life were among the top attributes for their definition of success.

One key element to achieving a balanced life is access to time; time to devote to family, to personal passions, to building a personal legacy.

Due to its low-cost, low-stress commutes, Ohio offers a work-life balance for executives, their employees and their families available nowhere else. Ohio is home to more of the nation's easiest, most affordable commutes, according to a new study by Kiplinger, an internationally recognized publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice. Three Ohio cities are included among the top ten – Columbus (second), Cleveland (sixth) and Cincinnati (seventh) – making Ohio the only state with multiple metropolitan cities on the list.

According to Kiplinger.com, cities must have a metro population of at least one million and a low congestion cost (a measurement of wasted time and fuel as calculated by the Texas Transportation Institute). Kiplinger also factored in the average length of commute, local gas prices, yearly delays per commuter and public transit use.

Ohio promises a perfect balance that allows business owners, their employees and their families the opportunity to achieve both their professional and personal aspirations without having to sacrifice one for the other. Ohio offers businesses an environment that makes it easy to foster work-life balance. The convenience of travel, with short commutes from work to home, lower stress and give more time to priority family activities.

Creating a successful business is a time consuming job. For executives, the demands are such they often have to choose between business and life.

"Research tells us that happy and healthy employees are more productive at work. Companies are trying harder to help their employees achieve better work-life balance because this positively impacts a company's bottom line," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. "Top-level executives who have a true work-life balance will perform better at their jobs and the company will only achieve greater success."

Because the population is distributed throughout the state, commutes to work are shorter and less intense than in most major U.S. cities, leaving ample time for achieving personal aspirations. Ohio is within 600 miles of 60 percent of the U.S. population and 50 percent of the Canadian population, making it easy to see why companies are turning to the State of Perfect Balance to grow their business.

Warren Anderson, owner of Anderson-DuBose, a Cleveland-based logistics company that specializes in food service distribution, credits Ohio's transportation infrastructure and easy commutes for both his business and personal success. The company delivers practically everything needed by McDonald's restaurants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – from fries and napkins to straws and cups.

Anderson was able to grow his business due to the low cost of transportation in Ohio. However, he also found a personal advantage to running a successful business in Ohio. The same interstate system that speeds his trucks to their destinations also speeds him home to family where he can attend his children's sporting events and ballet classes or see a Cleveland Cavaliers game. Cleveland ranked sixth on Kiplinger's list of best commutes. According to Kiplinger, Cleveland has an average commute of less than 24 minutes.

"In Ohio, everything is easy to get to, and to me that's an important draw for anyone choosing a place to live and work," Anderson said. "Like most people, I don't want to spend my time tied up in traffic. Running a successful business is incredibly rewarding, but having time to enjoy that success with my family is the most rewarding of all."

Ohio offers a work-life balance for executives, their employees and their families available nowhere else.

"As children, we have all dreams of what we'll become, the families we'll raise and the successes we'll find along the way. Many times, executives are forced to choose between business and personal success and cannot achieve both without having to compromise," Burghard said. "In Ohio, you'll find a perfect balance of opportunity and access to follow your dreams without having to sacrifice professional or personal satisfaction in pursuit of your ambitions."

About the Ohio Business Development Coalition

The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

SOURCE Ohio Business Development Coalition



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