JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio, has announced that its Inclusion Grant program assisted 28 companies in the Columbus Region since its inception in 2020, creating over 50 net new jobs, retaining more than 1,600 existing jobs and awarding nearly $900,000 in grants. Statewide, the program awarded over $4 million in grant funding during the first phase.
The Inclusion Grant program aims to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. To qualify for the Inclusion Grant, a company must be owned by an underrepresented population – which includes consideration of geographic location, race, ethnicity, gender, veterans and those with disabilities – or it must be located in a qualified distressed community as defined by the Economic Innovation Group. The grant may be put towards eligible costs including fixed asset investment in machinery and equipment, real estate investments and training costs.
“It is critical that businesses owned by underrepresented populations or located in distressed communities be part of a full economic recovery,” said J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio. “Through these Inclusion Grants, we can assist nearly 30 of those businesses in the Columbus Region.”
The grants were distributed throughout six counties in the Columbus Region, with 10 companies located in Logan County, five in Knox County, four each in both Franklin County and in Pickaway County, three in Licking County and two in Marion County. Of the 28 companies that received Inclusion Grant funding, three were minority-owned, three were woman-owned and one was veteran-owned. The additional 21 companies were located in a qualified distressed community.
“We are passionate about Ohio's creative economy because it supports our mission to help brands engage with people, moments, community and culture,” said Chris Jones, COO at Warhol & WALL ST. “The JobsOhio’s Inclusion Grant will bolster our efforts to connect creatives to more opportunities to collaborate with others, create content and produce income. As we rebuild in our regional and national creative economy, we hope to use these resources to grow our team, our impact for others and our network of creative superheroes who will usher in the next wave of the creative economy.”
In addition to the previously mentioned criteria, to be eligible for the grant, companies were required to be engaged in JobsOhio’s targeted industries and business functions ranging from advanced manufacturing to automotive, healthcare, financial services and technology. In the Columbus Region specifically, the grants were awarded to 26 manufacturing companies, one technology company and one logistics and distribution company.