The state economic development organization JobsOhio estimates in its 2020 report that with the support of $ 500 million in investments, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has helped create 19,021 jobs, 1 billion $ in additional payroll and $ 7.8 billion in state capital investment.
In the annual report and the 2020 strategic plan, published on Monday, March 1, JobsOhio said it launched 307 new projects last year, marking the second best year in terms of volume. The $ 7.8 billion capital investment was the third best year for the state, according to the private nonprofit, which uses revenues from the state liquor agency to fund the job creation and new investment in Ohio.
According to JobsOhio’s year-end financial statements, the organization spent a total of $ 224.2 million on economic development activities in 2020, up about 61% from $ 139.4 million in 2019. JobsOhio spent $ 17.3 million on salaries and benefits in 2020, up 26% from $ 13.7 million. million in 2019. The organization’s spending on professional services more than doubled to $ 13.7 million in 2020, from $ 5.8 million the previous year.
Even with increased economic development spending and rising wages, JobsOhio’s ended the year with a free balance of $ 678 million, up from $ 655 million reported by the organization in 2019. The organization has was helped by an increase in gross alcohol retail sales. in 2020, which was $ 1.34 billion, up from $ 977 million in 2019.
JobsOhio President and CEO JP Nauseef said in a statement that 2020 “marks the end of JobsOhio’s first decade of existence, and when it matters most, our team responded quickly and decisively. with leadership and results. Despite the hardships we endured, we believe this was one of the strongest years JobsOhio has ever seen. “
As of March 2020, JobsOhio has spent more than $ 62 million on more than 40 million units of personal protective equipment; $ 11 million in community bank loans to small businesses; $ 1.5 million on a liquor buy-back program; and $ 7 million in alcohol discounts for bars and restaurants forced to temporarily close during the pandemic, according to the 38-page report.
Other programs created to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the economy detailed in the report include $ 50 million for forgivable loans to eligible JobsOhio clients; $ 47 million in additional investments for nascent health and tech companies; and $ 10 million in funding for commercial service airport air carriers.
The report comes as Ohio marks one year since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Ohio is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, especially because while other states are scaling back their economic development, Ohio is investing, in large part, thanks to JobsOhio’s unique and differentiated business model,” wrote Nauseef.