Slow economic growth is the “new normal,” experts say

Business economists say that “Americans should get used to a ‘new normal’ of slow economic growth,” Cincinnati.com reports. “The median estimate from economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics surveyed calls for the American economy to grow 2.2 percent in 2017,” up from 1.6 percent forecasted this year, according to the article. From 1948 to 2015, economic growth in the United States averaged 3.1 percent a year, but 80 percent of economists surveyed believe the potential growth rate of the country’s economy “will remain at 2.5 percent or lower over the next five years.” However, they think the risk of recession is remote, and “90 percent expect the current economic expansion to continue until at least 2018.” Two-fifths of the economists said infrastructure spending increases “would be the best way to boost economic growth over the next four years,” while 36 percent of them said tax reform would best promote growth. For more, read the full article.

Federal Updates

Ohio Attorney General’s annual report analyzes compliance rate for incentive awards

Nearly 85 percent of companies and organizations that received economic development awards from the state of Ohio were in compliance with the requirements of those awards in 2015, according to State Attorney General Mike DeWine’s 2016 Report to the General Assembly. Of the 329 awards with a performance period ending in 2015, 279 “were in substantial compliance” for an “overall compliance rate of 84.8%,” according to a press release from DeWine’s office. In the press release, DeWine said, “[w]hile the state encourages growth in business, capital investments, and workforce retention and enhancement through incentives and training, it is imperative that these taxpayer dollars are used wisely.” The report lists compliance rates by category, with workforce awards at 100 percent, grants at 86.3 percent, tax credits at 80.0 percent, and loans at 82.8 percent. Recipients not in compliance may be subject to remedial action, according to the report. To read the press release, including a link to the full report, click here

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

JobsOhio plans three initiatives to bring more jobs to the state

As JobsOhio “moves past [its] start-up phase,” the group has three new development ideas in the works to support job growth in Ohio, the Dayton Business Journal reports. JobsOhio “has begun in earnest to be a part of the incentives puzzle for companies looking to invest and grow jobs,” and the three “major initiatives will move the organization forward in the next two years,” according to the article. A SiteOhio program will help “build a directory of greenfields in the state most ready for quick development” so companies looking for new locations can “quickly evaluate where the best opportunities are in the state.” A talent management program “will help train workers” for companies already located or moving to Ohio, and develop “a ready workforce for others that are looking.” A research and development grant program will use “up to $50 million” to help “bridge the gap” for mid-market companies “whose ideas are formed but need some research funds to connect the dots that get them to the market.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates

Special district could mean Hall of Fame Village will help pay for itself

Construction of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village could be funded by tax revenues the tourist attraction brings in after it is built and drawing visitors, CantonRep.com reports. Canton City Council is scheduled to “vote on legislation to establish the area as a Tourism Development District,” in which fees and taxes on business conducted within the district could pay off bonds issued to finance the development, according to the article. Revenue could be generated in several ways, such as through an additional sales tax, an admissions tax on parking and tickets, and lodging tax revenue; these and other sources could “yield close to $6.2 million annually” and an estimated $52 million total “to help finance the construction of the stadium, hotel, arena and amusement park-like attractions.” Stark County is “the only place in Ohio permitted to create a Tourism Development District,” and this would be the first one in the state if Canton approves it. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

JobsOhio promises $1M to two companies for nearly 400 jobs

Two western Ohio companies will each receive a $500,000 grant from JobsOhio, in return for 395 jobs totaling “close to $19 million in new payroll” for the Dayton area in the next few years, the Dayton Business Journal reports. NuVasive Inc., a San Diego-based medical device and spine implant company, “received a $500,000 grant toward its $45 million manufacturing facility in West Carrollton,” according to the article. The company plans to use the location “as the center of all of its manufacturing as it grows around the world”; NuVasive will move about 100 existing employees to the area and hire 195 new employees in the coming years, for a total of $9.2 million in new payroll for the Dayton region. R&L Carriers received a $500,000 grant “for its $11 million expansion project in Liberty Township” that will “expand its headquarters and add 200 jobs” totaling $9.5 million in new payroll. R&L will also retain about 1,450 existing jobs. For more, read the full article.

JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates

Cincinnati neighborhoods will feel benefit of $125M in New Market Tax Credits

Three Cincinnati development groups were awarded a total of $125 million from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, a program that helps leverage private investment in “struggling or low-income communities,” Cincinnati.com reports. Cincinnati Development Fund received a $65 million tax credit allocation, Uptown Consortium received a $45 million allocation, and the Kroger Community Development Entity LLC procured a $15 million allocation. The New Market Tax Credits program “gave community groups the ability to raise money from investors for their projects. In exchange, the investors can claim a federal income tax credit worth 39 percent of their investment over a seven-year period,” according to the article. Leaders of the development entities say the awards could benefit projects that will turn “the area around Reading Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Avondale into an innovation corridor” and breathe life into neighborhood business districts. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Celadon Logistics expanding its presence in Obetz

Indianapolis trucking and transportation company Celadon Logistics is adding a new regional office near its trucking operation in Obetz, according to a recent article in The Daily Reporter. The expansion comes “after ‘incredible growth’ the past several years, resulting in the opening of several regional offices,” including the new Obetz location. Joe Weigel, director of marketing and communications for the company, said, “Celadon Logistics can offer the services of a typical third party logistics company and draw on the resources of a trucking firm, as needed.” The article reports that “[a]ccording to a released statement, the local office “is to focus on better serving their current and future customers in the region.” Celadon Logistics President Jon Russell said, “[w]e are excited about the rapid growth that Celadon Logistics has experienced over the past several years in central Ohio and are excited about the opportunities that come with opening this new office.”   

Regional Updates, State Updates

Cuyahoga, Franklin top list of Ohio counties with most economic growth

Financial technology company SmartAsset measured economic growth in all 88 Ohio counties over a four-year period and ranked the top 10 performers over that time, with Cuyahoga County coming out on top, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The study “aims to capture the places receiving the most incoming investments in business, real estate, government and the local economy as a whole,” according to the article. The site “also looked at four factors: business establishment growth, GDP growth, new building permits and municipal bond investment.” Cuyahoga County ranked highest with a GDP Growth Index of 9.76. Franklin County came in second at 8.27, and Hamilton County was third with 6.56. For more, including the complete list of the top 10 counties and their performance in each of the four factors, read the full article or the full SmartAsset study.

Regional Updates, State Updates

West Dayton development projects show “renewed confidence” in area

The recent sale of two properties in the Westview Industrial Park, plus plans for a new Dayton Metro Library building, all point to “improving economic conditions in the community” according to city officials, the Dayton Daily News reports. Dayton City Commissioners “approved selling about five acres of land in the industrial park to the Detroit Salt Company LLC, which plans to build a new road salt distribution facility,” according to the article. Also in the industrial park, Phoenix Investors, based in Wisconsin, “has closed on the sale of the McCall property and plans a major overhaul,” investing millions of dollars “rehabbing the facility to attract a new tenant.” Keith Klein, senior development specialist for the city, said these property sales “represent steps in the right direction to revitalizing the area and sparking new investment,” according to the Daily News article. The Dayton Metro Library also plans to invest about $10 million in a new 24,000-square-foot facility near U.S. 35 and Abbey Street to replace the Westwood and Madden Hills branches. For more, read the full article

 

Regional Updates, State Updates

Amazon building second Ohio wind farm for $300 million

Amazon Web Services, Inc.’s latest plans for expansion in Ohio are “likely to raise the profile of Ohio’s wind industry,” as the company will build a second major wind farm in the state, The Toledo Blade reports. Amazon will invest $300 million in the 189-megawatt (MW) Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2 in Hardin County, according to the article. The company expects its first wind farm, the 100-MW Amazon Wind Farm US Central in Paulding County, to start producing electricity in May 2017, while the second wind farm “is expected to come online in December, 2017.” Amazon said in a statement it “supports proposed changes to the state’s current wind setbacks law to encourage more investment in new renewable wind power projects,” referring to HB 483, legislation enacted in 2014 that created “some of the nation’s most restrictive setback requirements for wind turbines,” the Blade reports. Peter DeSantis, Amazon Web Services vice president of infrastructure, said, “[w]e remain committed to achieving our long-term goal of powering the AWS Cloud with 100 percent renewable energy.” For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates
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