Economic Development Department Expanding to Retain and Attract More Jobs

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The City of Toledo’s Economic Development Division will be expanded into its own department, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced today.

“Economic development and job creation - both for small and large businesses - is critically important for Toledo,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “Successful cities invest in creating jobs. We have a growing economy and this administration intends to ensure that we continue to build on our momentum as we move forward.”

A director of development will be hired to lead the city’s job-creation initiatives.

Brandon Sehlhorst, commissioner of economic development, will continue to lead the city’s efforts to assist large companies in retaining and creating new jobs.

Sandy Spang, a successful local business owner who plans to resign from her at-large seat on Toledo City Council after six years in that position, will take the role of commissioner of small business services, concentrating on small business development. Ms. Spang’s last day on council will be Dec. 31.

Under the direction of the economic development director, Ms. Spang will be responsible for various activities and duties in support of establishing and retaining collaborative relationships with the existing business community, promoting the city to attract new businesses, supporting the expansion of existing businesses, and vigorously expanding and seeking out new businesses for the city. The position will have considerable interaction with all departments of the city, Toledo City Council, and the development and business community, including being the initial contact person and information resource for existing businesses, and may serve as the contact for entrepreneurs and new small businesses.

“Sandy’s experience on council, and as a businesswoman in our community, makes her an invaluable asset for the people of Toledo,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said.

Ms. Spang’s experience includes pushing for implementation of Priority Based Budgeting, enabling the city to align resources with priority programs and redirect $3 million in savings to road repair; advocating for the Building Improvement Grant, to aid entrepreneurs with facade and code upgrades, and for moving more Community Development Block Grant dollars into neighborhoods to better serve our community; and introducing legislation requiring the city to develop a 20-year maintenance plan for more than 200 structures owned by the city.

She has also served on the Toledo Board of Zoning Appeals, the Community and Economic Development Committee of National League of Cities, attended the Congressional City Conference, CEOs for Cities Inclusive Growth Conference, and The Urban Land Institute's Joseph P. Riley Jr. Urban Vision Symposium.

Ms. Spang Founded Plate 21 LLC in 2009, which operates independent coffee houses Plate 21 and Plate One, with a staff of 15. She also owns and manages a real estate portfolio of 39 residential and 12 commercial units.

“We are committed to hiring the best and the brightest, regardless of background or political affiliation,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “Sandy’s Toledo City Council, business, family and community experience certainly counts her among our Toledo’s best and brightest.”