WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $1,598,250 has been awarded to the Barberton Community Development Corporation for the construction of infrastructure and roadway improvements for the Lakeside Innovation Business Park. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA). Leveraged with private investment, the funding is expected to generate 480 jobs in the area.
"These federal funds will assist the economic recovery of Barberton and Summit County," Brown said. "By investing in new industrial sites, small and emerging businesses in the region will grow, bringing new minds and hundreds of good paying jobs to Ohio."
The Barberton Community Development Corporation will use the funding to create industrial sites outside the city's flood plain and speed up the region's economic recovery from the 2008 floods, while making it more resilient to future natural disasters. These federal funds were awarded by the EDA, which serves as a venture capital resource to promote economic development, innovation, and competitiveness in communities across the United States.
Brown has been working to promote economic development across Ohio by supporting the growth of emerging industries. In September 2009, Brown introduced legislation that would support and create "business incubators" in hard-hit regions of Ohio and the country. Under Brown's proposal, more Ohio communities would be eligible to receive funds, with support through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) directed to economically hard-hit regions. Business incubators provide support to existing and start-up companies, helping them to grow and create jobs. According to an independent report commissioned by the EDA, for every $10,000 in EDA funds invested in business incubators, an estimated 47-69 local job are generated. In rural areas, business incubator projects are the most effective type of EDA projects.