Business Assistance

Business Assistance Quick Links - Business Incentives - Financing Programs - Minority Business Development - Recruitment, Retention, and Redevelopment

Economic Development functions as an ombudsman for the business community, helping companies large and small before, during and after construction or relocation to find success here in Forest Park.  City officials have created a true pro-business environment.  Streamlined permitting and effective business incentives make Forest Park very competitive with other communities. We also provide assistance with site selection, zoning review and approval, infrastructure improvement and other project needs. For more information on incentives or any of our business services, contact the Economic Development Department.

Business Incentives

Below are descriptions of several financing and incentive programs available to companies that relocate to or expand in the City of Forest Park. Others may be available. For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact the  Economic Development Office.

  • Forest Park Enterprise Zone
    • We can offer eligible companies partial exemptions of the new property taxes generated by projects, up to a 75% abatement for a maximum of 10 years.  The terms of this abatement are dependent upon a number of factors including but not limited to jobs, payroll, and project investment.
  • Northland Opportunity Zone
    • Companies investing in our city’s original business district might qualify for benefits associated with this recently established Opportunity Zone. This economic development program was established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Opportunity Zones are designated census tracts where individuals and companies with capital gains liabilities can invest in economic development projects through Opportunity Funds. Investors can receive tax deferment and permanent exclusion benefits on these capital gains depending on how long the investments are held in the Opportunity Fund.
  • Job Creation Tax Credits and Rebates
    • We can also connect your company to local, county, and state incentives that reward companies for creating jobs in our community. For example, the State of Ohio offers a refundable tax credit to companies generally creating new jobs consistent with program guidelines. The City of Forest Park offers a similar program, providing eligible companies with a partial rebate of new withholding taxes generated as a result of an expansion project. 
  • Economic Development Grants and Project Financing
    • The City of Forest Park partners with a number of regional partners to provide companies considering expansion or relocation with much needed financing assistance. Working with HCDC, we can help you secure SBA and other loan financing products. Our close working relationship with REDI Cincinnati and Jobs Ohio can connect you with similar opportunities at the state and federal levels. In addition, the City of Forest Park has its own Redevelopment Program that can provide financial resources to facilitate eligible projects.  

Please note: in 2015, the City of Forest Park designated several industry clusters as targets for its redevelopment program. Companies from these industries may be eligible for the above incentives even if the building or property in question is not a target of the program.

In addition, our economic development team can also help your company apply for other incentive and financing programs from our county and state partners. Our economic development team works closely with HCDC, REDI Cincinnati and Jobs Ohio to help local companies secure the assistance they need to make their projects successful. More information on regional and state financing and incentive programs can be found at the following: www.hcdc.com, www.jobs-ohio.com, and www.redicincinnati.com.
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Financing Programs

Below are descriptions of several financing programs available to companies that relocate to or expand in the City of Forest Park. Others may be available. For more information or assistance with the application process, contact the Economic Development Office at (513) 595-5207.

  • SBA 504
    • This program helps with fixed asset financing (land, building, and fixed equipment) to eligible borrowers. Typically, bank participation is 50% of the project cost, and owner equity is at least 10% of the project cost. SBA 504 will cover the remaining 40% of project costs up to $75,000 (SBA requirement: $35,000 per job). Terms are 10 years for equipment and 20 years on real estate. The interest rate is fixed at approximately 2% above US Treasury bond rates.
  • SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee
    • This program helps small businesses obtain financing for working capital or fixed assets. The bank providing the financing determines the loan rate and terms. SBA guarantees the bank's investment. Owner equity ranges between 10-30%,
  • SBA Microloan
    • This program provides short-term financing for working capital (inventory, receivables and operating capital) to new and existing businesses. Owner equity is 10% or more.
  • Ohio 166 Regional or 166 Direct
    • These programs help primarily manufacturers acquire land, building, machinery and equipment. The loan covers 40% of eligible fixed costs up to $350,000 ; 30% above $350,000 to $1 million maximum. Terms are 5-15 years. The rate is 2/3 of Prime, fixed. Owner equity is 10% of project cost. Ohio prevailing wage rate applies.
  • Ohio Linked Deposit Program
    • This program provides financing for fixed assets, working capital and refinanced-debt for small businesses. The rate is 3% below current lending rates fixed for two years (with possible two-year extension). The company must have an Ohio headquarters and create one job for every $25,000 received in the project. Other conditions apply.
  • Ohio Mini-Loan Program
    • This program provides loan guarantees for fixed assets and equipment for small businesses (fewer than 25 employees), start-ups and existing business expansions for projects of $100,000 or less. The interest rate is currently 5.5%, and the maximum term for the guarantee is 10 years. Targets women and minority-owned businesses.
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
    • Tax increment financing allows local communities to apply the incremental increase in property tax revenue that results from the development of a specific property toward public improvements to facilitate the project in question.
*The Hamilton County Development Company administers the SBA 504, SBA 7(a), SBA Microloan and Ohio 166 regional programs. The State of Ohio administers the Ohio 166 Direct, Ohio Linked Deposits and Ohio Mini-Loan programs.
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Minority Business Development
The City of Forest Park is dedicated to the establishment and growth of minority-owned business in our community. We work closely with our regional partners to foster the growth and competitiveness of businesses that are minority-owned.  Our economic development team will coordinate and leverage public and private-sector resources to facilitate alliances in support of this mission.

We can connect you to a regional network of organizations that help minority businesses with a variety of important tasks including business planning, marketing, management, technical assistance and financial planning.  We can also help you apply for regional, state, or federal programs that are designed to assist minority businesses with their financing needs.

If you are a minority business owner looking for a new location, or an existing Forest Park business seeking assistance with expansion, please do not hesitate to contact us via the link in the left menu.  We will do our best to help you succeed!

For additional information on programs designed to help minority businesses, you can contact the following organizations:
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Recruitment, Retention, and Redevelopment

The City of Forest Park operates a comprehensive economic development campaign designed to help companies find lasting success in our community. This award winning program has produced some impressive results. Over the past 20 years, local companies have invested almost $400 million on projects involving the creation or retention of nearly 4,000 jobs.

Our economic development team utilizes an impressive network of contacts from the public and private sectors to help companies considering expansion or relocation. Not only can we help your company find the right site, we can also connect you with the resources needed to complete your project. 

In addition to helping companies considering expansion or relocation, the City of Forest Park has created an innovative program to promote the revitalization of underdeveloped or underutilized properties. Our community redevelopment initiative has identified several areas of the community as targets for redevelopment. Companies considering properties in these areas may be eligible for special incentives and other forms of assistance. 

Companies considering expansion or relocation in Forest Park may be eligible for any of the following: tax abatement, earnings tax rebates, redevelopment grants or permit discounts. Our team can create a customized financial offer tailored to your company's unique needs. To learn more more about our business assistance and redevelopment programs, contact the development office by calling (513) 595-5207 or email to pbrehm@forestpark.org.
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