Lawmakers: music industry tax credit would bring jobs and talent to Ohio

The proposed Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit would boost Ohio’s music industry the same way the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive has stimulated film production here, say two state lawmakers, reports. State Representatives Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) said the OhioSounds program “would help Ohio recording studios, artists and producers and grow the industry here.” The $3 million per year program “would grant a 25 percent tax credit to music produced in the state” as well as “refund 25 percent of music studio construction and recording infrastructure costs, up to $50,000 per project.” Smith said the program would help bring back some of the creative talent that Ohio has been losing. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Gahanna mayor proposes marketing position to promote city

The mayor of Gahanna wants to add a new position that would help Gahanna clearly and professionally market the city for business development, ThisWeek Community News reports. A director of marketing and communication would “help us be succinct in our marketing and messaging,” Mayor Tom Kneeland said. Kneeland told Gahanna council members “that he proposes the part-time position so the city could be marketed professionally as it proceeds with its economic-development plan and strategic plan.” The director would lead “strategic communication, marketing and messaging for the city to positively affect business development, job creation and revenue growth,” according to the article. The position would be funded  “by transferring the funding budgeted previously for the director of emergency management,” a position Kneeland won’t use; instead, the functions of that position will be shared between the department of public safety and the mayor’s office. For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Warren County projects sports marketing will bring $42 million in 2016

Sporting events are expected to bring more than 185,000 visitors and $42 million in economic impact to Warren County this year, Today’s Pulse reports. The county’s leading industry is tourism, and “sports tourism has become a driving force of the industry,” said Phillip S. Smith, Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO. Warren County Sports, a department of the bureau, “plans to host approximately 107 sporting events in 2016.” Highlights of the event schedule include “the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s (OHSAA) Boys and Girls State Tennis Championships, the Midwest Showdown basketball tournament, the U.S. Junior Nationals basketball tournament, the 7th Annual Kings Island Invitational youth baseball tournament, and the 5th Annual Warren County Summer Slam youth basketball tournament,” according to the article. For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

OAQDA finances energy efficiency project for Honda, emissions reduction for Vets demolition

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority recently “authorized Honda of America Manufacturing to receive up to $210 million in Air Quality Development Revenue Bond financing” for a new paint line, according to a recent press release. The new paint shop for Acura and Honda models at the Marysville Auto Plant “will be the most energy-efficient paint line in Honda’s US automobile production network.” The OAQDA also helped reduce construction emissions at the site of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium demolition. JDM Services, LLC, the company contracted to remove concrete portions from that site, “recently closed on up to $2 million in revenue bonds” from OAQDA “to assist in covering the debt incurred in purchasing a mobile recycling plant for the collection and reprocessing of construction and demolition debris.” OAQDA works to help prevent or reduce air pollution by financing air quality facilities for businesses, government entities, utilities and universities. For more, click here for the full OAQDA Honda press release and click here for the full JDM Services press release. 

Regional Updates, State Updates

First gathering of Ashtabula County development leaders looks to the future

At the invitation of Ashtabula County commissioners, dozens of economic development leaders and municipal officials recently “met to share successes and goals, and seek ways to work together in the future,” the Star Beacon reports. The group gathered at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake to report on their endeavors from the past several years as well as their plans for the future. Leaders from the Northeast Ohio Regional Airport Authority, 503 Corporation, Convention Facilities Authority, and Growth Partnership all spoke about their organizations, and County Administrator Janet Discher gave an update on the “inter-county branding efforts between Ashtabula and Lake counties.” Dan Claypool, President of the Board of County Commissioners and host of the event, said based on the turnout, the event “was really well-received.” Growth Partnership CEO Don Iannone said, “[t]he question is how do we really organize to increase results — how do we increase our collective impact?” He suggested the model of the “strategic action team,” creating “some kind of overarching group that gives leadership to it.” Claypool recommended meeting again mid-year to discuss “progress boards are making in their efforts.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

New “old” communities planned for Evans Farm development

The developers of 1,000 acres near the border of Orange and Berlin townships want to create new communities that feel like the past, according to a recent article in ThisWeek Community News. Plenty of green space, large front porches and small businesses in walkable communities will make these developments “different from every other subdivision or community in Delaware County and in central Ohio,” and that’s what the family that owns Evans Farm wanted, said Tony Eyerman, a partner in Evans Farm Land Development Co. Another partner, Daniel Griffin, said “the focus will be on small businesses, such as bakeries, ice-cream parlors and two-screen theatres,” and he also “envisions community gardens, farmers markets and restaurants serving dishes with local ingredients in the community,” according to the article. Orange Township trustees have not yet voted on the plan, but “all three said they like what they’ve heard about the development so far.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates

Western Reserve Port Authority seeks new identity to better reach market

What’s in a name? To the Economic Development Committee of the Western Reserve Port Authority (WRPA), it’s a way to let businesses and nonprofit groups know that the port authority may be able to provide loans or other financial tools to help them grow, the Vindicator reports. The economic-development team has helped create jobs using tools including “tax-exempt and taxable bonds at a fixed rate up to 25 years and tax-increment financing that allows future tax revenue on a new or expanded business to be used for infrastructure improvements.” The committee recently “heard a presentation from local marketing executive George Farris . . . and his team to craft marketing concepts to present to the authority’s board of directors.” Farris, WRPA economic-development director Anthony Trevana, and two staff members suggested the name NorthEast Ohio Finance Authority, or NEOFA. Other committee members proposed using Mahoning Valley and Ohio Finance Agency (OFA). Trevana “said he and Farris would work on additional ideas before delivering a similar presentation to the board.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates

Cuyahoga County Executive says $7 million in loans will create and retain jobs

Four economic development loans totaling $7 million will “create 700 new jobs and retain another 800 jobs,” according to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Crain’s Cleveland reports. Budish is asking Cuyahoga County Council to approve the loans to three projects in Cleveland and one in Solon. A $3 million loan will “assist in the relocation of Dealer Tire LLC” from Chester Avenue to Euclid Ave; that company is “expected to add about 100 jobs to the 450-person workforce” it currently employs, according to the article. Budish is asking for a $2 million loan for a mixed-use development project by the Snavely Group that “is expected to create 477 construction jobs and 55 permanent jobs.” Hillcrest Egg & Cheese Co. would use a $1.5 million loan to help “purchase and renovate the former Ohio Farmers food terminal on East 55th Street.” Hillcrest is pledging to add 50 jobs to its current 130-employee workforce. A $1,077,092 loan to Kanan Enterprises Inc. would “help the owner of King Nut Co. purchase equipment as part of an expansion of its Solon manufacturing plant.” That loan “is expected to add 30 jobs to the 285 who now work for Kanan in Solon.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates

Debate over fire services funding for Centerville stems from tax revenue battle

Since the city of Centerville annexed Dille family land in 2006, the city, Sugarcreek Township and developers of Cornerstone of Centerville have “battled over the annexation, shares of tax revenues and responsibility for fire service,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The developers, Oberer Companies, “want the Ohio Supreme Court to block a levy request” that “would provide fire and emergency medical services” for the township but excludes the Cornerstone area, which currently receives fire and EMS service from the township. Sugarcreek Twp. voted “to place the five-year, 5.3-mill fire levy on March 8 ballots, although the filing deadline had passed three weeks ago,” according to the article. The debate over fire services funding originates from “a dispute over tax revenues from special districts set up, first by the township and then by Centerville.” Sugarcreek schools and the city of Centerville reached an agreement to split revenues from Cornerstone’s tax increment financing district (TIF), but the city and township have not yet come to an agreement. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates

Partnership creates strategic plan to boost Ashtabula County’s economy

While unemployment in Ashtabula County has declined, the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County says there is still work to be done to lower it further and address other economic development issues, Crain’s Cleveland reports.  The group, made up of “60 business, public, educational and philanthropic partners,” is charting a “new, more focused effort to boost the county’s economy and labor force,” according to the article. At a December meeting attended by “more than 100 civic leaders,” the partnership’s executive director, Don Iannone, and economist James Trutko explained the key issues: “the need to offset a loss of employment in key sectors, the decline in the number of businesses in the county and the slow pace of new business formation.” The county’s economic base is led by manufacturing, anchored by the plastics and chemical industries; Trutko said the county can build on this base, “but it also needs to bolster its underdeveloped service sector.” Because existing businesses “account for nearly 60% of new jobs,” the strategic plan emphasizes helping those businesses grow. For more, read the full article

Regional Updates
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