Cut start-up, expansion and relocation costs. The city of Bowling Green and the state of Ohio offer competitive incentive programs to companies looking to locate or expand their operations here.
Local Incentive Programs
Community Reinvestment Areas
Provides local real property tax incentives for businesses that invest in one of the three designated areas in Bowling Green (see Map). The CRA program is a direct incentive tax exemption benefiting property owners renovating existing or constructing new buildings. Contact our office for an application prior to the investment. Projects must be approved by City Council.
Bowling Green Enterprise Zone
Provides real property tax incentives for businesses that expand or locate in Bowling Green. Only businesses engaged in manufacturing, research and development, warehousing and distribution, and/or corporate headquarters will be eligible to apply for the incentive. Tax incentives will be offered provided program guidelines are met and a substantial investment is made. To secure these benefits, businesses must apply through our office prior to commencing their project.
Bowling Green Job Creation & Retention Program
The Bowling Green Job Creation & Retention Program (JCRP) is an economic development incentive offered to qualifying businesses who agree to create a specified number of new jobs. The program may be used in conjunction with other incentive programs available through the State of Ohio and the City of Bowling Green
Any company located or locating within the corporate limits of Bowling Green, Ohio, which will increase new job opportunities and annual payroll, is eligible to submit an application. Those jobs that are newly created must equal a minimum annual local payroll totaling $350,000 within a 3 year period, not including benefits. Eligible projects may include headquarters, manufacturing, science and technology, research and development, distribution, and certain types of service industries.
Uniform Tap Fees
The city has a credit system against tap charges for existing water and sanitary sewer lines for development on currently undeveloped property. This credit is applied when the proposed development creates new permanent jobs. The credit will be calculated on the annual payroll of the new or expanded business. The credit is ½ of one percent (1/2%) of the annual payroll, up to the cost of the tap for the first five years.
Provides up to a $.00363 per kwh rebate on additional electrical usage involved in the expansion of any existing facility located within the municipal boundaries of Bowling Green. For new development, the incentives (for electric rates) would include the City’s already low competitive rates plus the availability of off peak rates. For customers adding NEW additional load of one megawatt of power the City will consider entering into a 5-year economic development contract rate or discount.
Efficiency Smart provides technical assistance and financial directly to Bowling Green Electric Business Customers to help reduce the cost of making energy-efficient improvements. Rebates are provided for implementing energy efficient measures that reduce your ongoing energy use and deliver substantial savings reflected on your company’s electric bill.
Rebates are available for a wide array of energy-saving technologies in both the Efficiency Smart Business Energy Rebates Program and the Custom Program. The Business Energy Rebates Program offers pre-set rebates for small to medium sized businesses with an annual electricity usage between 20,000 kWh and 500,000 kWh. The Custom Program is available to businesses looking for ways to save energy and money with annual electricity usage over 500,000 kWh. Qualifying projects may include energy-efficient lighting, HVAC, motors, compressed air, refrigeration/chillers, and others. Rebates may also be available for new construction projects. Contact our office to learn more about this program.
Program link: www.efficiencysmart.org
City of Bowling Green’s Revolving Loan Fund
Applicants may be manufacturing, commercial, service, or retail businesses locating within the City of Bowling Green. Businesses cannot relocate outside of the Bowling Green’s city limits during the term of the loan. All loans must be backed by appropriate collateral.
A minimum of one job or its equivalent must be created for every $50,000 borrowed. Fifty-one percent of the created jobs must assist persons of low to moderate income households. For every $1 of RLF financing, there must be $1 of private financing available for the project.
Program Goals for the RLF
The City of Bowling Green believes that entrepreneurs need help in establishing job opportunities for our community. The Revolving Loan Fund has been established to offer “Gap Financing Assistance” for those Small Business who desire to create employment within the city limits. By meeting the minimum requirements and through establishing a partnership with an area bank, entrepreneurs can receive assistance of up to 50% of the commercial funds needed for business financial needs.
Success of the RLF
Since its creation in 1987, the City of Bowling Green Revolving Loan Fund has made over 150 loans in assisting area businesses. The fund has loaned over $4,533,000.
It has helped to create numerous new jobs for low and moderate income individuals in our community. RLF recipients have included child day care, restaurants, retail shops, local manufacturing firms, and others. Benefits are available for both existing and start-up businesses. Bowling Green’s RLF helps businesses solve their financial puzzle and gives them the boost they need for success.
Interest Rates and Terms
Loans are made for a fixed term for three to five years. The Interest Rate is determined at 2/3 of Prime as listed in the Wall Street Journal on the day of closing. Fees include a $100.00 application fee, plus closing costs which are payable on the day of closing.
Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund
Purpose of the Program
The Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund (EERLF) is a collaboration of the Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities and the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation (CDF.) This program is designed to allocate capital to local projects dedicated to more effectively utilize electricity. The program is not intended to represent a substitute for private sector funding; rather, the program’s goal is to successfully motivate local business and industry to upgrade or replace equipment and/or fixtures that will reduce their electric consumption. The EERLF program is limited to any business or industry in the Bowling Green community which is served by Bowling Green Municipal Utilities.
The EERLF program is administered by the CDF. The CDF’s Executive Director is responsible for marketing, acceptance of loan applications and carrying out the responsibility for the day to day functions of this loan program. An EERLF Committee, appointed by the city’s Director of Utilities and the CDF Board for two year terms, oversees approvals or rejections of all loans.
Eligible Loan Types
This EERLF loan is available to private for-profit enterprises. The loan is focused on eligible companies seeking to proceed with projects centered on the procurement of more energy efficient depreciable assets. Loan amounts will be considered for up to 50% of the total cost of the energy efficient project.
Financing Policies and Techniques
The EERLF program has no minimum loan amount and the maximum amount is bound by the existing amount of capital in the fund.
Interest Rate: The interest rate and terms of the loan will be 0% over the life of the loan.
Repayment: No additional new capital is required for repayment for the EERLF loan. Payment for the loan is automatically recouped and administered by the City of Bowling Green Municipal Utilities by deriving an electricity usage proxy (Baseline usage over similar production levels for the previous two fiscal periods) for the loaned party and comparing the proxy to an actual usage amount. The difference in usage, from actual to proxy, is then utilized to repay the fixed monthly payment. Loan statements will be presented monthly to the EERLF participant. The interest rate will be held at 0% interest until the loan is completely repaid.
Security for EERLF Loans: All EERLF loans are non-collateralized loans. Loan approval is subject to meeting the following criteria which will be reviewed by the Loan Administration Board.
Borrower must provide a project description including total estimated cost and payback analysis
In the event of EERLF Participant default, whether it be through location closure or late payment of electric bill(s) or movement of plant operations outside areas served by Bowling Green Municipal Utilities, or bankruptcy, the participant is responsible for payback of the remaining balance of the note within thirty days of official notice of default without penalty.
EERLF Applications Forms and Fees
An application form is required to be submitted. The form is provided in Appendix A. To facilitate processing, a non-refundable fee of $100.00 must accompany the application. For loans in a larger amount than $50,000 the applicant will be required to join the CDF on an annual basis, if not already a member.
Growing Your Business in Bowling Green, Ohio
No matter the size or type of business, Bowling Green Economic Development can assist you as you look for ways to expand and grow. Our office has tools to help you build and improve your business. These include the following programs:
If your business or industry is located in one of the city’s three Community Reinvestment Areas, you may be eligible for tax abatement on new building projects or remodeling of your existing structure.
There are additional resources for existing companies which are available at no charge to the business owner. These include the local Small Business Development Center, www.toledochamber.com, and the local office for SCORE, northwestohio.score.org.
Other resources for existing businesses
There are several area resources to assist entrepreneurs with starting a new small business. Once you have developed your business plan, our office can assist you in finding a suitable location, financing and other details. Should have any questions please contact us.
Small Business Development Center
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), offers assistance at no cost to entrepreneurs as they begin planning business endeavor or are looking to grow their existing company. This includes financing, market research, marketing strategies, management and cash flow analysis.
For more information on the local SBDC, contact Bill Wersell, SBDC Director at the Toledo Chamber of Commerce, (419) 243-8191. This office serves Wood County. Business counselors will come to BG’s Economic Development or Chamber office to meet with entrepreneurs. You can find more information at www.toledochamber.com/business/SBDC.aspx.
Northwest Ohio SCORE
The local SCORE office covers 13 counties in the NWO area, with mentors in Toledo, Port Clinton and Bowling Green. Call 419-259-7598 or check the website, northwestohio.score.org
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE volunteers offer confidential business counseling services at no charge. Their volunteers have the knowledge and experience to help any small business owner get the help they need.
The SBDC & SCORE also provide business workshops on a variety of topics throughout the year as well as resources on their websites.
Other useful web resources to start you off are:
State Incentive Programs
Bowling Green’s economic development office works directly with Jobs Ohio to provide development incentives to qualified companies.
State of Ohio 166 Direct Loan Program
Provides low-interest loans to businesses willing to commit to creating new jobs or preserving existing employment opportunities in the State of Ohio. Eligible companies must be engaged in manufacturing, research and development or distribution.
Project costs can include purchase of land, building, construction/renovation, machinery, equipment, long term leaseholds and other fixed-asset purchases. The program may fund up to 50 percent of eligible project costs directly related to the fixed-asset purchase. The minimum loan is $500,000 and the maximum is $1,500,000.
The loan is presented to the Ohio Department of Development Financing Advisory Council for review and the State Controlling Board for approval. The term of loan is conditioned upon the useful life of the assets, with the maximum limit of 15 years for real estate and 10 years for machinery and equipment. Interest rates are fixed at or below market rates and generally do not exceed 2/3 of the current prime rate. A minimum of 10% equity is required for existing businesses and a higher percentage may amount is higher for startups.
One full-time job equivalent must be created for every $50,000 received. There is a $1,500 application fee and a deposit required. A .25% annual service fee will be added to the monthly amortization schedule.
State of Ohio 166 Regional Loan Program
Provides low interest rate financing for small industrial businesses on fixed assets purchases such as land, building and equipment. The minimum 166 Regional Loan is $50,000 based on a total project cost of at least $150,000. The maximum participation is $350,000.
There is no limit on the total project size. Rates are fixed at 3% with a 10% owner equity requirement, a repayment term of up to 10 years on machinery and equipment and 15 years on real estate. The rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The term is based on the useful life of the assets being financed and the term of the bank loan in the project.
The business must be a for-profit corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. The business must demonstrate that jobs will be created and that private financing will be secured for 60% of the project cost. The loan requires a $500 application fee and a 1.5% processing fee. Attorney fees due at closing.
Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund
Provides revenue bond financing through an S&P AA+ rated fund, whereby proceeds from the sale of bonds are loaned to companies for fixed-rate, long-term capital asset financing (land, building, building construction/renovations, leasehold improvements, machinery & equipment.) Rates are market-driven and fixed prior to funding.
Loan terms range between 7 to 10 years for equipment and 15 to 20 years for real estate. Up to 90% financing is available for eligible costs from $2,000,000 to $10,000,000 through the program. There is a $1,500 application fee and a $30,000 deposit required. Closing costs equal to 2-3% of the bond amount and are due at closing. A .25% annual service fee is added to the monthly amortization schedule.
Northwest Ohio Bond Fund
Provides tax-exempt financing for qualifying manufacturers as well as non-profit 501(c)3 and governmental operations. This is a long term fixed rate bond rated BBB by S & P. Funds can be used for fixed asset financing: land, building, building construction/renovations, leasehold improvements, machinery & equipment. Up to 90% of eligible project costs can be financed from $1,000,000 to $8,000,000.
Terms are based on the useful life of the assets being financed, generally up to 10 years on equipment, 15 years for real estate. A $30,000 deposit is required. Closing costs are equal to 2-3% of the bond amount and are due at closing. A .50% annual service fee is added to the monthly amortization schedule.
Jobs Creation Tax Credit
Provides a refundable tax credit to companies creating new jobs. The tax credit is measured as a percentage of the state income tax withholdings for all new employees hired under the program, and is applied toward the company’s commercial activity tax liability. Should the amount of the credit exceed the company’s commercial activity tax liability for any given year, the difference is refunded.
The minimum requirements are the hiring of 10 full-time equivalent employees generating at least $660,000 in annual payroll. Businesses must demonstrate that the tax credit is a major factor in the decision to expand or locate in Ohio and must maintain commitments throughout term of tax credit. Companies must apply for the credit before committing to the project and be approved before hiring begins.
Rapid Outreach Grant
Promotes economic development, business expansion and job creation by funding infrastructure financing. Funds are allotted each State fiscal year and are on a first come, first serve basis.
Ohio Workforce Guarantee
Provides direct support to employers for training. Program can pay for a portion of instructor salaries, materials, and special needs. Supports companies making a capital investment in facilities, equipment and training that result in the retention and creation of jobs in Ohio. These funds are allotted each State fiscal year and are on a first come, first serve basis.
Roadwork Development 629 Account
Provides roadwork improvement financing for eligible projects. Funds are available for public roadway improvements, including engineering and design costs. Projects must typically create or retain jobs. Grants are usually provided to a local jurisdiction and require local participation.
Research and Development Investment Loan Fund
Provides loan financing between $500,000 and $5 million for projects primarily engaging in research and development activity. Rates are fixed (at or below market rates) with other loan terms similar to those of commercial bank financing. Companies receive a dollar-for-dollar, non- refundable Ohio commercial activity tax credit for principal and interest payments up to $150,000 annually during the loan term.
Innovation Ohio Loan Fund
Provides loans for acquisition, construction, and related capital costs of technology, facilities, and equipment purchases. The fund was created to assist existing Ohio companies in developing next-generation products and services within the state’s Targeted Industry Sectors up to 75% ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.