Attracting new businesses, and helping those you have grow, are two of the most important missions a region can have.

So we were surprised, and even shocked, to hear this radio ad from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

First off, this type of intramural debate belongs behind closed doors. It has nothing to do with speaking to the customers we’re after.

And second, the most preposterous statement in the ad is that “there is no gain for the region” if a company moves from one community to another within the region.

Companies move for one reason and one reason only: to improve their bottom line. If a community in the Tristate can get a company to move to it, then good for them. It’s much better to have that company expand and grow here than in North Carolina.

And that’s exactly what happens.

States like North Carolina and Texas offer large financial incentives to move there. Once a company decides it wants to consider a move, to get it to stay is a huge benefit to the area.

Besides, as other cities have found, there are ways to compensate communities that lose companies.

We applaud the Chamber’s efforts to attract new businesses (see our “Inside Cincy” department), but can only hope the person in charge of this particular effort will be sent to the blackboard and required to write 100 times: “We are a region, we are a region … .”

Heard on the Radio:

“A new proposal from Agenda 360 is designed to bring a stop to the economic cannibalism often seen in the Tristate. It’s called the Business Outreach Protocol, and it has been present in several jurisdictions throughout the region.

If a company receives a tax or cash incentive to move from one community to the other within the region, there is no gain for the region. In fact, it often can bring about lower total tax revenues for area governments. The new Business Outreach Protocol would establish that the jurisdiction where a company is currently located would have the right to make offers to a company looking to move before any other jurisdiction would be able to make a competitive offer.

Leaders hope that this will cause the region to collectively put forth a more concerted effort to attract new businesses to the region.”