COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has announced that the application for an 11-county area in the central Ohio region to be designated as an Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been approved. The Columbus Region becomes the largest metropolitan area in Ohio to achieve this designation.

Economic Development Districts (EDDs) are multi-jurisdictional entities helping to lead the locally based, regionally driven economic development planning process that leverages the involvement of the public, private, and non-profit sectors to establish an economic development roadmap for regional collaboration.

“Achieving Economic Development District status unlocks additional support and collaboration for economic development for the Central Ohio region in a new way,” said MORPC’s Executive Director William Murdock. “It creates access to new funding sources and key economic development tools to prepare Columbus Region communities for future growth and investment.”

The Columbus Region Economic Development District (CREDD) encompasses 11 counties within the greater Columbus area, including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties. CREDD will provide additional tools and partnerships to support the critical work of One Columbus, the Columbus Region’s lead private economic development organization, as well as efforts by communities, organizations, and businesses throughout the region.

“Economic Development Districts serve as the cornerstone of regionally driven economic development,” said MORPC’s Board of Directors Acting Chair Chris Amorose Groomes. “This strategic blueprint not only charts a course for regional prosperity, but it also fosters meaningful dialogue about the economic future to all that call our region home.”

On behalf of Central Ohio, MORPC applied for the designation last December and will be responsible for coordinating economic development, transportation, land use, and federal fund dispersal, among other responsibilities. Other collaborators include the City of Columbus, numerous communities across the 11 counties, the State of Ohio, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Central Ohio Rural Planning Organization, and One Columbus.

“The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is excited to add Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to its roster of Economic Development Districts (EDDs) in Ohio,” said Susan Brehm, director of EDA’s Chicago Regional Office. “We look forward to strengthening our collaborative relationship with MORPC and its stakeholders to spark economic growth in all pockets of Central Ohio.”

MORPC received approval from the USEDA for the designation of the Columbus Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) on Feb. 1, 2022, a prerequisite to obtaining the EDD designation.

“Securing this designation underscores the benefits of collaboration, uniting the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors to shape the Columbus Region’s economic development roadmap,” said President & CEO of The Columbus Partnership Kenny McDonald. “This is yet another step in preparing for regional growth and investment and maintaining the character of our local communities across Central Ohio.”

According to the announcement from Alejandra Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, the U.S. EDA designation will serve as a foundation for future economic successes that will benefit families and businesses in the region.

“EDA is committed to providing financial assistance to meet the economic development needs of distressed communities across the United States,” Castillo said. “Our mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.”

Submitted by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.