Economic Development

Aligned with MORPC’s four pillars of Pay It Forward, Drive Investment, Build Value for Our Members, and Create an Environment for Prosperity. MORPC’s Economic Development work focuses on engaging with members on local and regional development priorities, identifying resources and tools to advance initiatives, and preparing the region for economic prosperity.

More information on key programmatic areas can be found below.

The Columbus Region was designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) as an Economic Development district in September 2023. The region encompassing 11 counties within the greater Columbus area, including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties, is the largest metropolitan area in Ohio to achieve this designation.

According to the EDA, Economic Development Districts (EDD) help lead the locally based, regionally driven economic development planning process that leverages the involvement of the public, private and non-profit sectors to establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration. EDDs open the door for local communities to grant and loan funding opportunities, administrative and technical assistance, and access to data and technology resources. 

*Fayette, Hocking, Perry, and Ross counties are included in existing Economic Development Districts.

Economic Development Districts in Action

  • Advance regional economic development to improve quality of life for residents and strengthen the business community. 
  • Align public, government and private investments to advance the CEDS and achieve better outcomes.  
  • Identify new funding resources and tools to close gaps and fund promising growth opportunities.  
  • Promote regional competitiveness and innovation.  
  • Provide recommendations and strategies for recovery and resilience planning.  
  • Offer technical assistance, research, and data analyses.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a regional road map for economic development. The development of the CEDS was a collaborative regional effort, bringing together representatives from both the public and private sectors, to ensure consensus as the blueprint for the district was established.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy –

Competitive Advantage Projects (CAP) is a partnership between MORPC and One Columbus to advance economic development, strategic innovation, infrastructure, housing, and workforce-related investments across Central Ohio. The goal of the initiative is to prioritize and advance regional, transformational projects.

Working with government and business leaders, MORPC helps regional partners develop, and maintain a list of CAP projects, every two years. Working groups within each county lead a local project selection process to identify the top project priorities for their community. The project list is regularly shared with members of the U.S. Congress and the Ohio General Assembly to communicate the regional priorities.

Currently, the types of Competitive Advantage Projects include multi-modal transportation, utilities, telecommunications and smart technology, energy systems, workforce, and housing. Please reach out to with any questions about this program and corresponding projects.

Competitive Advantage Projects –

MORPC participates in the United States Environmental Protection (EPA) Agency’s Targeted Brownfield Assessment program. These federal funds allow MORPC to help central Ohio communities first assess potential contamination at a brownfield site and next plan for cleanup and redevelopment.

MORPC’s first Targeted Brownfield Assessment grant that closed out in 2023 provided $600,000 in federal funds. Over 90% of the grant funds were spent toward assessment testing in central Ohio communities. MORPC has applied to EPA’s 2023 Targeted Brownfield Assessment program seeking funds to continue this work.

Please reach out to with any questions about this program and/or if your region has brownfield sites you’d like us to add to the inventory of sites.

US EPA Targeted Brownfield Assessment Program

An innovative member resource designed to help communities find and leverage funding resources aligned with regional needs across diverse program areas.

The portal hosts information on active and projected loan and grant programs sourced from federal, state, and local organizations, tailored to accommodate projects of varying scopes and funding requirements.

Drive Investment Portal –

Contact Information
Padmini Roy-Dixon
Economic Development Director and Regional Innovation Officer

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