Opportunity Zones Promote Economic Development in Ohio

In an earlier blog post, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce updated you on Ohio’s effort to add a state income tax credit to the federal benefits offered for investment in a designated opportunity zone. The state income tax credit was added to the Ohio Budget bill (HB 166) and was signed into law this past July. 

On Wednesday, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce met with officials from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), an agency inside of the U.S. Commerce Department. EDA provides grants in planning, technical assistance and infrastructure construction. These grants are designed to leverage regional assets to support implementation of economic development strategies that make it easier for businesses to start and grow.

The U.S. EDA visit to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce was part of a day-long visit to Ohio to gain a better understanding of Ohio’s efforts to promote the use of Opportunity Zones as part of an overall strategy to promote economic development in the state. The trip included stops at JobsOhio, Ohio’s DSA (Development Services Agency) office and state lawmaker offices. During the meeting at the Ohio Chamber’s office, we discussed the state tax credit, the landscape for regional development, the DSA Opportunity Zone webpage to showcase the 320 Opportunity Zones in Ohio, and other pending legislation that could aid development in and around Ohio’s Opportunity Zones.

The officials from the U.S. EDA left a one-page fact sheet that demonstrated the economic development partnership between the US government and Ohio since January 2017. In total, the EDA has invested over $11.2 million in 21 projects across Ohio. Seven of these projects are expected to create or retain 1,443 jobs and attract over $290 million in private investment. One project involves investment in an Opportunity Zone.

If you would like more information on available US EDA programs or grants, please contact the Ohio Chamber.  The Ohio Chamber can also put you in touch with regional contacts at the U.S. EDA district office in Chicago.