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Amazon, Civic: Dev. Finance Authority aids Akron’s growth.

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TLDR:

  • The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) supports development projects in Ohio by issuing bonds and providing additional funding through various organizations it manages.
  • The DFA has provided over $882 million in financing for 341 projects since 2000, with a focus on economically distressed communities and minority- and women-owned businesses.

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) plays a crucial role in supporting development projects in Northeast Ohio. The Akron-based quasi-governmental organization issues bonds for various development projects in Ohio and also manages and staffs separate organizations that offer additional types of funding for projects. These include the Development Fund of the Western Reserve, Western Reserve Community Fund, and Energy Special Improvement District. Since 2000, the DFA and the organizations it manages have provided more than $882 million in financing for 341 projects in Ohio, including major projects like the Amazon Distribution Center, the Akron Civic Theatre, and the Hall of Fame Village project.

DFA President Chris Burnham highlighted that a significant percentage of DFA projects have been in economically distressed communities. The Development Fund of the Western Reserve focuses on supporting minority- and women-owned businesses and nonprofits in these communities. The Western Reserve Community Fund offers financing and technical support to small businesses and nonprofits, with a focus on borrowers who have not had commercial loans before. WRCF’s interest rates are kept low at an average of 3% to support these businesses.

One of the key projects facilitated by DFA was the Amazon Distribution Center, for which $155 million in bond financing was provided. Additionally, the agency has worked on projects like the expansion and infrastructure improvements for the Akron Civic Theatre, environmental remediation at the Akron Airdock, and the Goodyear headquarters project. DFA has also collaborated with other development finance agencies for various projects across Ohio.

Overall, the DFA’s work in supporting development projects in economically distressed communities and its partnerships with various organizations have made a significant impact in Northeast Ohio, contributing to the revitalization and growth of the region.

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