Economic Development Program

Goal: The principal goal of the Economic Development Program is to create and retain permanent, private-sector job opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons, through the expansion and retention of business and industry in Ohio communities.

Grant Ceiling: $500,000 maximum for direct loans, $500,000 maximum for off-site infrastructure projects. Maximum grant ceilings include project and program administration costs.

Eligible Jurisdictions: Non-entitlement cities and counties. Counties must apply on behalf of villages and townships; counties may also apply on behalf of cities within their jurisdiction.

Revolving Loan Fund Participation: Local units of government will be required to substantially disburse any existing Revolving Loan Fund balance in conjunction with or prior to the submission of a funding application to the State for a specific economic development project.

Eligible Activities: Eligible activities include provision of financial assistance, through eligible units of general local government, to private for-profit entities to carry out economic development projects, as well as public improvements directly and primarily related to the creation, expansion or retention of a particular business. Financing under the State CDBG Economic Development Program may cover fixed assets, including land, building, machinery and equipment, as well as the infrastructure investment directly related to business or industrial development. The amount and type of financial assistance provided to a project must be deemed appropriate with respect to the financial gap and the public benefit to be derived.

Financing for fixed assets must be provided in the form of a non-forgivable loan.

In addition, job training is an eligible CDBG Economic Development Program activity. The State may provide applicants additional Economic Development Program funds, up to $50,000, to provide training for low- and moderate-income individuals whose positions were created/retained by the recipient business. The training provided by the business must meet the requirements of the Ohio Workforce Guarantee Program (OWG) administered by the Ohio Department of Development’s Workforce and Talent Division.

Ineligible Activities:

Financing of existing debt, working capital, non-capital equipment, and inventory.

Financing of a project that involves the relocation of an industry or business from one area of Ohio to another. Exceptions will be made by the state on a case-by-case basis, but only if the relocation of an industry or business will create additional jobs, and the industry or business furnishes information to the state which demonstrates that the industry or business could not continue to operate in the existing location. Also, the applicant community must send a letter (by certified mail) to the community from which the business is relocating, explaining the reasons for relocation. The letter must include OHCP’s address and identify the OHCP Economic Development Coordinator as the contact person.

Financing of speculative projects or buildings. Speculative buildings include those that do not have tenant commitments for at least 50% of the floor space or where project resources may not be sufficient to cover expenses.