Ohio launches tax credit program to encourage small biz investment

InvestOhio, a $100 million effort to spur investment in small businesses throughout the state, launched earlier this week.

Administered by the Ohio Department of Development in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Taxation, InvestOhio provides a non-refundable personal income tax credit to investors who infuse cash into small businesses to acquire an ownership interest in them.

The businesses are required to reinvest the cash in one of five types of allowable expenses within six months of receipt. Investors must retain an ownership interest for a two-year holding period before the tax credit can be claimed. Similarly, businesses must retain property purchased with the cash infusion for a two-year holding period.

“With more than 900,000 small businesses in Ohio, InvestOhio will help them get the capital they need to create jobs,” says Christiane Schmenk, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “We want to give potential investors a reason to look at Ohio’s small business by making Ohio more jobs-friendly.”

Nearly 50 percent of Ohio’s workforce is employed by small businesses, according to the state. Therefore, it’s believed that sparking growth in the small business sector will help boost the state’s overall economy.

InvestOhio is expected to generate at least $1 billion in new private investment by 2013.

Eligible businesses must have less than $50 million in assets, or less than $10 million in annual sales, and meet requirements established by the DOD and the Department of Taxation.

InvestOhio has a two-phase application process. To help guard against fraud, both investors and small businesses are required to register through the Ohio Business Gateway.

The registration process will begin at 8 a.m. Monday. An investment application process will begin the first week of December, allowing users to familiarize themselves with InvestOhio before the application process starts.

From now to the December launch, the state is encouraging interested small businesses and investors to educate themselves about the program rules.

To learn more about InvestOhio, visit Development.Ohio.gov/InvestOhio/InvestOhio.htm

Those with questions about the InvestOhio process can contact the DOD’s Business Response Line at 800-848-1300 or email [email protected]