Enterprise Zones (EZ)

Certain areas of Summit County are designated Enterprise Zones, as allowed by state law and consented to by local communities. This allows incentive agreements to be negotiated between the County, local communities and businesses seeking to expand or relocate within the zone areas. The Department of Development administers this State program and acts as the central point of contact and assists businesses with expansion, relocation or start-up questions on how best to maximize their business investment.

Enterprise Zones are designated areas of land in which businesses can receive tax incentives in the form of tax exemptions on eligible new investments. Enterprise Zones are not part of the traditional zoning program - which limits the use of land - instead they allow local officials to negotiate with businesses to encourage new business investment in the zone.

Benefits to the Community

  • A community can assist local companies to become more competitive by offering an incentive to expand or modernize.
  • A community can become more competitive in attracting new industry.
  • A community can target the type of business it wants to attract.
  • Attracting new business investment can increase local tax revenues and employment opportunities.
  • Abatement is applied on the increase in property tax value from the investment so all existing taxes continue to be collected. 

Benefits to your Business

  • Tax incentives help offset the high costs of business start-up activities.
  • Enterprise Zone incentives help provide a competitive advantage for Ohio sites.
  • Businesses can reinvest in their facilities and equipment, helping them grow and remain competitive in the long term.
  • Tax incentives provide a basis for a long-term relationship between the community and business.

Eligible Businesses

Only those businesses that are qualified by financial responsibility and business experience to create and preserve jobs within the zone may apply for the local tax incentives. Local officials may limit the type of businesses and projects, which are eligible through policy guidelines. A business must make a substantial investment in either real or personal property.

Establishing a new business is defined as making a significant investment in land, buildings, machinery, or equipment. Expansion projects must make investments that equal at least 10% of the value of the existing facility. In addition, the law permits incentives for a business to renovate an existing facility if the renovations exceed 50% of the facility's value. A business willing to occupy a vacant facility and invest at least 20% of the facility's value to alter or repair the facility is considered eligible for tax incentives. Please note that retail operations are not eligible for tax exemptions except in those urban areas which have been designated as impacted cities.

To better understand if your investment may qualify under this program, please contact our team to discuss further.