Job Creation, Strategic Economic Development, & Fiscal Security Job Creation, Strategic Economic Development, & Fiscal Security

Ensuring that the Franklin County economy continues to thrive is one of the commissioners’ top priorities, but they also recognize that we’ll only be successful as a community when every Franklin County resident has the opportunity to benefit from that prosperity. Much of the work that the commissioners’ team focuses on is aimed at ensuring plentiful opportunities for work, high quality education, affordable housing, and the other things families need to get ahead.

Economic Development and Planning Department

The commissioners’ Economic Development and Planning Department (EDP) is responsible for providing funding and technical assistance to support community development, city planning, zoning, code enforcement, and more. One of the widely used EDP programs in 2022 was the Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund, through which the commissioners issued more than $4 million in grants to small businesses that had been hurt by the pandemic and its effects on the economy.

Economic Development and Planning Department


of the grants went to businesses in low-income areas of the county.


of the recipients were minority-owned businesses.


in economic value to the community for every $1 granted.


of recipient businesses were owned by women.


had five or fewer employees.

EDP also works with other county agencies like the Department of Job and Family Services to keep families in their homes and expand the amount of available affordable housing. Franklin County, like most metropolitan cities in America, does not have enough affordable housing to meet demand.

Franklin County spent more than $50 million in 2022 to develop affordable housing, help families with mortgage and rental assistance, support the homeless, and more. Home Stabilization grants were one of the most widely used affordable housing programs in 2022, with more than 6,500 households participating.

To be eligible, households must be:

  • Experiencing a financial hardship.
  • At or below 80 percent of the area’s medium income.
  • At risk of becoming homeless or having housing instability.
Hamilton Annex

Franklin County is one of the most successful communities in the nation to leverage HOME dollars. The federal HOME Investment Partnership Program helps local governments assist with affordable home ownership and apartments for low-income homes. In 2022, the county used this funding on projects including the construction of 63 one-bedroom units at the Creekside Apartments and 32 affordable housing units for seniors at the Hamilton Annex Housing Project.


Along with the City of Columbus and other local partners, the commissioners launched a new resource for residents who are struggling to pay their rent last year, a simple, reliable, and easyto- access website that links renters with Central Ohio programs aimed at keeping people in their homes. The site also dispels common myths, provides eviction resources customized to Franklin County, and highlights some of the other places that you can go to find even more help.

In 2021, 1-in-3 Ohio renters said that they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent. If those households were evicted, it would represent an almost 700% increase in eviction filings, impeding our economic recovery, and pushing vulnerable families over the edge. Residents seeking information on rental assistance—or landlords looking for help replacing lost rent—can visit to get the help they need today.


Otto Beatty Jr. Men’s Shop

Otto Beatty was a fixture in Central Ohio and served for nearly 20 years in the Ohio legislature. He was a community leader and a quiet mentor to many. When he passed away last year, Mr. Beatty left behind several closets’ worth of stylish business attire.

Mr. Beatty always felt that looking good made a person feel good and gave them confidence. He wanted everyone to have the opportunity to feel that way even if they couldn’t afford stylish clothes. When he passed away, his wife, U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty, donated his clothes to Impact Community Action, which put together a proposal to create a community closet for men who need nice clothes to wear to job interviews and at work. The commissioners funded that proposal, which not only provides clothes, but also wrap around services including workforce development, support for entrepreneurs, and more to address other employment barriers that Franklin County men may be facing.

Otto Beatty Jr. Men’s Shop

Another important function of the commissioners’ Economic Development and Planning Department is to provide community development, building permits, zoning and code enforcement in unincorporated areas of the county.

Economic Development and Planning By the Numbers:


Zoning Applications


Building Inspections


Building Receipts


Building Permits


New Home Permits

Another way that the commissioners support economic development in Central Ohio is by supporting our region’s travel and tourism industry. Did you know that travel and tourism account for nearly 76,000 jobs and about $7.6 billion in local spending each year?

Franklin County supports industry growth in many different ways including funding $3 million to Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, which has helped attract the Final Four, Women’s Final Four, the Presidents Cup golf tournament and the upcoming National Figure Skating Championship.

In addition, the commissioners also sponsor events like the HBCU Classic for Columbus College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza. This annual event lasts five days and has an estimated $10 million economic impact on Central Ohio, with popular attractions including a game that features top seniors from Historically Black Colleges & Universities vs. top players from Ohio’s traditional universities.

Franklin County is also the only county in America that owns a baseball team and the stadium it plays in. The Columbus Clippers are a triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians baseball team.

Travel and Tourism
Travel and Tourism
Travel and Tourism