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The Summit County Development Finance Authority Unveils its New Strategic Plan

photo of Chris Burnham

A Summit County agency focused on financing economic development projects today unveiled its first strategic plan in six years.

The Development Finance Authority’s new plan aims to capitalize on growth since its 2011 strategic plan, which led to financing to renovate the old Goodyear headquarters, projects with the Columbus and Toledo Port Authorities and establishment of a fund for economically challenged neighborhoods.

Toby Rittner is CEO of the Council of Development Finance Agencies, which authored both the new report and the one in 2011. He says Summit County officials have accomplished a lot in the last six years, and should maintain that momentum.

“This is not normal. This is a development finance agency doing it all, doing exactly what they set out to do.”

Rittner adds that more than 12,000 jobs have been created in Northeast Ohio thanks to the Development Finance Authority.

“Holding property, issuing bonds, being a conduit bond issuer, managing tax-increment finance, structuring tax-credit deals, running revolving loan funds; being involved in all sorts of different financing structures that help drive economic development, infrastructure, business and industry.”

Going forward, the new plan calls for the organization to strengthen its subsidiary – the Development Fund of the Western Reserve – to drive growth in much of Northeast Ohio.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.