OhioSE hosting Opportunity Appalachia webinar


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Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and Opportunity Appalachia will host a webinar on Friday, Feb. 25 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to launch a second, expanded phase of Opportunity Appalachia.

As the lead partner in Ohio, OhioSE invites all interested community and economic development leaders, local elected officials, developers, and business owners to learn about the opportunity to obtain technical assistance for important development projects to move your community forward.

Opportunity Appalachia will provide targeted support for downtown and rural development projects to build entrepreneurial communities where local business can thrive, creating quality jobs for residents, helping to address the COVID-19 downturn, and revitalizing local economies. The $2.25 million in funding for technical assistance will provide support for more than 40 projects which are anticipated to create 3,000 jobs and bring $400 million of new investment into Central Appalachian communities. The expanded program targets Appalachian communities in five states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Opportunity Appalachia brings resources for technical assistance to those projects in the region that have good purpose but still need expertise to get the project through various stages and to investment,” said OhioSE Vice President Katy Farber. “Redeveloping our communities is key to our long term success as a region.”

The Ohio program anticipates awards to up to eight projects with the allocated portion of these funds. Selected communities will each access $30,000 to $75,000 in technical assistance to support their proposed development projects, to include (but not limited to):

* Development of investment prospectus, preparation of pro forma financial projections, structuring of project financing;

* Market research, demand assessment;

* Architectural and engineering;

* Business plan preparation, operations planning;

* Identification of project developers; and

* Investor outreach.

“We have many projects “in limbo” throughout our region because of scant resources,” said Farber. “Opportunity Appalachia can assist with continued technical expertise to make these projects become a reality.”

In 2020-2021, Opportunity Appalachia supported 17 projects (six in Ohio) which are seeking to raise over $250 million in financing.

Submitted by Sarah Arnold, OhioSE director of communication and marketing.

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