Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted unveiled their Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2022-2023, which includes an aggressive plan to spur Ohio’s continued recovery by investing in communities, people, and businesses. Through the Investing In Ohio Initiative, the Executive Budget launches a strategic effort to invest more than $1 billion toward accelerating economic growth and ensuring economic vitality.
At the onset of the pandemic, Governor DeWine took swift action to control state spending through targeted revenue reductions, which along with increased funding from the federal government, limited the economic impact of the pandemic on the state budget. The Investing In Ohio Initiative targets one-time investments to the most hard-hit industries in the pandemic.
Supporting Ohio’s Small Businesses
The Investing In Ohio Initiative within the proposed Executive Budget includes $460 million to support Ohio’s small businesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal includes:
- Investing $200 million in grants for bars and restaurants;
- Investing $150 million in grants for Small Business Relief Grant applicants, who previously applied and are qualified;
- Investing $50 million in grants for lodging industry businesses;
- Investing $40 million in grants for indoor entertainment venues;
- And investing $20 million in grants for new businesses, many of whom were unqualified to receive previous funding.
“After a year where Ohio entrepreneurs fought their way through severe economic difficulties, the state’s small business owners sincerely appreciate the carefully crafted proposed two-year state operating budget from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted. Their proposed state budget is an extremely responsible one for businesses who are working every day to recover from the pandemic,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.
“By offering a balanced budget that seeks no additional tax hikes on small business owners, that will incur no deficit spending, and is balanced on a reasonably forecasted general revenue stream, Governor DeWine has shown the pathway for an economic recovery that does not place additional financial burdens on small businesses during these unprecedented times,” he continued.
“NFIB would like to also acknowledge the “Investing In Ohio” initiative with almost half a billion dollars being set aside for predominately small business relief in the proposed DeWine/Husted operating budget. With many Ohio small business owners experiencing hits to their revenue of fifty percent or more over this past year, they are extremely thankful that the DeWine Administration recognizes that many of Ohio’s smallest of businesses need additional financial help to survive,” Geiger concluded.
Growing Ohio’ Skilled Workforce
The Investing In Ohio Initiative also includes a $70 million investment to upskill Ohio’s workforce. This funding works to ensure that businesses have access to the talent needed to be successful, while upskilling Ohioans who are looking to acquire in-demand, tech-focused credentials. The workforce investments also includes targeted funding for economically distressed rural and urban parts of Ohio.
The proposal includes:
- Investing an additional $5 million for 5,000 tech-focused credentials through the TechCred program in fiscal year 2021;
- Funding $50 million ($25 million in each fiscal year 2022 and 2023) for 40,000 tech-focused credentials through the TechCred program;
- And investing $15 million for workforce efforts in economically distressed rural and urban communities.
Strengthening Ohio’s Communities
Ohio’s communities have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Investing In Ohio Initiative includes a targeted investment of $200 million to support infrastructure projects that will attract new jobs and investment opportunities. Additionally, the budget makes a landmark investment towards broadband expansion by providing $250 million to help bridge the digital divide.
Telling Ohio’s Story
The Investing In Ohio Initiative also includes a $50 million investment toward elevating Ohio’s standing on a national scale through a marketing campaign to promote the state as a world-class place to live, work, and learn. The initiative aims to showcase all that Ohio, and its people, have to offer, including its wide array of career opportunities, top-tier colleges and universities, premier destinations, and vibrant communities.
Governor DeWine’s proposed Executive Budget also invests in key administration initiatives, such as RecoveryOhio, Children’s Initiative, H2Ohio, workforce development, TechCred, and broadband.
The proposed Executive Budget “blue book,” including Governor DeWine’s full budget recommendations, and budget highlights, can be found on budget.ohio.gov.