From free acreage to low-interest loans, there are many reasons to choose Defiance County for your business’ expansion or relocation. Our team is here to help match you with applicable programs, maximizing your incentives and making it easy to get started.

Check out some of the many programs listed below and contact our office for more information on how to apply.

Local Incentive Programs

Enterprise Zone Program
  • For businesses investing significant dollars in real property
  • Qualifying applicants may be approved for up to 100% in tax abatements with the local school district’s consent.
  • Board of County Commissioners must approve the Enterprise Zone Agreement before construction of real property occurs
  • All businesses located in Defiance County, besides Adams Township, are located in an Enterprise Zone
Community Reinvestment Area
  • Areas located within the City of Defiance and Village of Sherwood
  • Includes remodeling and new construction
  • Investment in qualifying areas is 100% tax exempt for 7-10 years, depending on building type
  • Residential and business structures are eligible
Tax Increment Financing
  • Permits service payments in lieu of real property taxes to be used to finance public infrastructure improvements directly supporting an improvement project declared to have a “public purpose”
  • Defiance County offers up to 75% exemption of real property taxed for up to 10 years, with an annual service payment in lieu of taxes required
  • Payment in lieu of taxes cannot exceed the annual debt services of the notes or bonds used to finance the specified public infrastructure improvements
  • Rate and term of the TIFs can be extended up to 100% for up to 30 years with local school board approval
  • Defiance County Board of Commissioners must approve the TIF contract
Energy Special Improvement District (ESID)
  • Public or private property owners within the ESID
  • ESID provides owners the ability to finance energy efficient enhancements to their property
  • An eligible project is funded through Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing 
  • 100% funded upfront with fixed rates and repaid over a set period of time

 Learn more here

Defiance County Infrastructure Revolving Loan Fund Program
  • Low-cost loans to assist with needed public infrastructure
  • Available for industrial or distribution projects
  • Can be combined with several state programs to fund infrastructure needs
Defiance County Business Development Fund Revolving Loan Fund Program
  • Low-interest loans for financing of early-stage business development costs
  • May include environmental surveys, business plans and engineering studies
City of Defiance Job Creation Incentive Program
  • Redirection incentive on new payroll tax
  • Based on the income tax rate of 1.8%, the number of jobs created and the length of the term
  • Company must pay wages 175% of the minimum wage
  • Eligibility is determined by creating $250,000 of new payroll and/or 10 new jobs
Training Cost Assistance
  • Covers certain costs associated with hiring new employees
  • Partial reimbursement through Defiance County Department of Job & Family Services
Hicksville, Ohio, Job Creation Incentive Program
  • Provides up to 50% of new payroll tax
  • Based on the income tax rate of 1.5%, the number of jobs created and length of the term
  • Company must pay wages 175% of the minimum wage
  • Eligibility is determined by creating $200,000 of new payroll and/or 10 new jobs
  • Incentive percentage and term is negotiable with the creation of 50 jobs or more
Hicksville Land for Jobs Program
  • Free acreage in a shovel-ready industrial park to companies that create 20 or more jobs
  • Land is valued at nearly $20,000 per acre
  • Features installed natural gas, electric, water and sewer infrastructure
Sherwood Job Creation, Retention and Investment Program
  • Grants tax credits against local income taxes to companies that create jobs in Sherwood
  • Program is administered by the Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation

State Incentive Programs

Innovation Ohio Fund
  • Created to help existing Ohio companies that develop next generation products and technologies
  • Financing is available for the acquisition, construction, and related costs of technologies, facilities and equipment
  • Can finance up to 75% of the project’s allowable costs to a maximum of $5 million and minimum of $250,000
Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund
  • Funding for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion or renovation and equipment for commercial or industrial projects between $1.5-10 million
  • Bond provides a fixed rate for up to 20 years
166 Direct Loan
  • Provides loans for land and building acquisition, expansion or renovation, and equipment purchase
  • Rate of the loan can be fixed at two-thirds of prime rate for a term of 5-15 years
  • Company must create or retain 1 job for every $15,000 received
Minority Direct Loan
  • Provides loans for the purchase or improvement of fixed assets for state certified minority-owned businesses
  • Financing can be provided for up to 40% of total project cost at a 4.5% fixed rate for up to 15 years
  • Company must be at least 51% minority owned and controlled and must be a state-certified minority business
  • Company also must create one job for every $35,000 received

State Training Incentives

Ohio Investment in Training Program
  • Provides grants directly to Ohio companies making investments that result in job creation or retention
  • Funding formula based dependent on average hourly wage and number of employees
  • Company must provide 50% matching funds.
  • Eligible companies must pay wages 150% or more of the federal minimum wage
Incumbent Workforce Training Program
  • Grants will be up to $1,000 per employee trained and capped at $200,000 per business or trainer based on the actual cost of training
  • Company must provide 50% matching funds
  • 25% of the funding in each fiscal year will be reserved for businesses engaged in activities other than manufacturing and with fewer than 500 employees

These are just some of the many incentive programs available. Tell us more about your project, and a member of our team will work to match you with the right resources.