All County buildings are currently closed to the public. Please visit our online services page for resources and information. Cuyahoga County Justice Center, Juvenile Justice Center, Courthouse, and Board of Elections remain open for essential functions.
google-plus2 rss2 facebook < /path> twitter blogger tumblr2 reddit linkedin delicious myspace stumbleupon mail Digg

Investing in Opportunity Zones: Spurring Business Growth and Job Creation in Low-Income Neighborhoods

by Miranda Kortan , Communications Specialist, Department of Communications
Aerial view of Cleveland, OhioCuyahoga County has made an innovative investment that will leverage County resources tenfold to support business growth, job creation, and expand community services in some of our most distressed neighborhoods.

In December 2019, Cuyahoga County Council approved a $1.5 million loan to a newly formed investment fund designed to assist businesses and development projects in the county’s low-income neighborhoods. Arctaris, a fund manager with a mission to provide capital to businesses with an emphasis on inner cities and targeted rural communities, will oversee the program.

County Executive Armond Budish speaking to a group
County Executive Armond Budish speaking to local bankers and business professionals about the Arctaris Impact Fund.
Arctaris will use the fund for loans or investments in projects proposed for low-income areas, including 64 Opportunity Zones, which are areas where the federal government offers tax breaks to encourage long-term investments.

Under this unique funding plan, the $1.5 million County investment is expected to leverage a total of $15 million or more of public and private capital and philanthropic investments. The combined funds will be used for equity investments in Opportunity Zone businesses and projects, as well as loans to businesses in neighborhoods that have a similar level of distress and potential for improvement.

One especially innovative feature is the Arctaris fund's commitment that every project funded with County dollars will have a positive social impact. A committee of respected local leaders will review each proposal before funds are committed to be sure the social impact is great enough.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Arctaris Impact Fund Managing Director Uche Osuji
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Arctaris Impact Fund Managing Director Uche Osuji
County Executive Armond Budish and leaders from the Arctaris Impact Fund, Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Cleveland Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration met with local bankers and business professionals in late February to discuss the types of financing available from Arctaris. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss examples of businesses whose needs may be beyond what regular bank loans can provide and how the Fund can be used to support them.

Possible recipients of loans or investments could include companies moving into Opportunity Zones, companies that do not have access to other investment options, or family-owned companies where an owner is retiring and needs succession planning.



Key Partners:
Manufacturing Works is a key partner in connecting its business members, made up of manufacturing company owners throughout Cuyahoga County, with the funding available from Arctaris. The Board of Trustees of the George Gund Foundation has authorized a $500,000 loan to Arctaris that will leverage additional private investments in the same way as the County’s loan.