Ohio Offers Opportunities for Investors and Communities

Aug 26, 2019 | News, Newsletter

Communities across Ohio are realizing their possibilities for growth because of the investments Ohio is undertaking. Ohio has 320 Qualified Opportunity Zones in 73 counties, and the Ohio Development Services Agency is working to help local communities make the most of the opportunities.

“Ohio communities are competing with communities across the country for the same investment dollars,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of economic development for the state. “Development will provide the tools that give Ohio communities the edge to create maximum economic impact.”

Governor Mike DeWine upped the ante to lure investors to the Ohio Opportunity Zones. Nationwide, the zones are eligible for federal incentives through the 2017 tax reform legislation. Governor DeWine has proposed adding a 10 percent tax credit to Qualified Opportunity Zone investments.

Now, Development is working with local communities and investors to make the most of the state and federal incentives. In April, Development formally launched its initiative with an Opportunity Zones Showcase that brought hundreds of people to Columbus to learn more. At the event, Lt. Governor Jon Husted unveiled a website – opportunityzones.ohio.gov – that allows communities to pitch their potential to investors in one place. It also allows investors to go to one site to view all of the opportunities Ohio has to offer. These are among the reasons Ohio is setting itself apart from other states in the race for Opportunity Zone investments.

The efforts already are paying dividends in communities across the state. In Cleveland, for instance, the Ohio City neighborhood is attracting investors for projects around the West Side Market. It’s bringing in new housing, new business and one of the largest mass timber projects in the country. See more about the project HERE.

Local economic development officials can market their Opportunity Zones by visiting opportunityzones.ohio.gov and entering information about their investment and development opportunities.

Much more than just “drug houses”; State grants to fund commercial building demolition would propel county land banks as key drivers of Ohio’s economic development

In late April 2021, a legislative committee in the Ohio House held its second hearing to consider creating a $100 million grant program, exclusively for county land banks, to fund commercial building demolition. Ohio’s land bank statutes are recognized as a national model, uniquely providing an opt-in for county commissioners to direct tax collections to fund their county land banks’ activities. That revenue model, coupled with allocations from the state’s Hardest Hit Fund (specifically, the sun-setting Neighborhood Initiative Program), allowed land banks to grow in number during the past decade and thrive in addressing so-called nonproductive land in their communities. 

read more

Partnership Produces Success in Paulding County Through Northwest State Community College

Archbold, Ohio – Communication, collaboration, and partnerships are all sometimes a difficult ask. The ultimate goal of all three is to produce action that leads to meeting a goal or need. At Paulding High School, the goal was met as five students completed the Northwest State Community College welding course. The offering, consisting of two college level welding courses, came to fruition alongside the OhioMeansJobs-Defiance and Paulding Counties Office, the Paulding County Economic Development Office, Paulding High School, and Northwest State Community College.

read more