The Department of Economic Development assists business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, small business owners, real estate brokers, developers and all community stakeholders by providing financial, technical, and workforce solutions to businesses expanding within or relocating to the City of Ravenna. The Department of Economic Development seeks to showcase the City of Ravenna as the “Center of Northeast Ohio,” as its location provides access to all points in the region, including Western Pennsylvania. When looking to establish or relocate a business, location and transportation are top priorities. Logistics become simplified by Ravenna’s ideal location. Our professional staff is on hand to provide technical assistance and financing. We also provide attention to detail and prompt service that moves at the speed of business.
A Message from the Economic Development Director
The Economic Development Director supports the Ravenna Community – both the City of Ravenna and Ravenna Township. In this capacity, the focus is on business attraction, retention and expansion efforts and working in conjunction with local, regional and state organizations to create a sustainable, pro-business culture. Dennis works closely with the local and regional planning commissions and core business leaders to engage in developing and executing the master vision plans for economic growth.
The key elements of Ravenna’s Economic Development initiative include:
The core component of maintaining the economic strength of Ravenna relies on retaining our existing companies and creating an environment where they can grow, prosper, and create new job opportunities. As a priority of doing business as a City, it is imperative that we keep the businesses that currently provide jobs to our residents and all that comprise our workforce. As a cornerstone of the City of Ravenna’s Economic Development effort, the business retention initiative keeps a close eye on the needs of existing businesses in the event they have outgrown their space, need to update or modernize their facility, or have changing transportation needs. The City will always try to meet the needs of a growing Ravenna business so they remain a Ravenna business. It’s all about understanding the needs of our local businesses and being prepared to respond to those needs.
Creation of New Business
The City of Ravenna takes pride in its Economic Development effort by not only fostering a positive business climate for the creation and attraction of new businesses, but for operating at “the speed of business.” We understand that time is money and starting up a new business requires deadlines and timelines be met quickly and efficiently. That includes the flow of City-required startup steps. From obtaining permits to adopting legislation that may be required for a specific project, the City of Ravenna will ensure things move at pace that works on a business fast track. The City can also assist a new business by providing access to capital through its own programs, or programs of other organizations. The City can help find the right type of space needed to nurture and grow businesses as well as provide access to local agencies that specialize in addressing Workforce needs. The City of Ravenna and all our partners work hand-in-hand to provide a number of initiatives to support the creation of new businesses.
Attraction of Investment
The City of Ravenna has seen significant new investment within its boundaries over the past several years. City Administrators and Elected Officials have collectively made a decision to support and assist local development. This financial leverage, in turn, has led to private investment in the areas of medicine, manufacturing, and several industries that are truly unique and specific to Ravenna. The City has a strong coalition of public and private partners including Portage Development Board, the Portage County Port Authority, the State of Ohio, and many other local organizations. As a result of these relationships, the City of Ravenna has been able to provide access to a multitude of strategic, financial, and workforce options.
A critical component of successful businesses in Ravenna is having access to a skilled workforce. The City of Ravenna partners with local and regional education at all levels. By providing educational opportunities through these partnerships, from pre-K to college to skilled trades, we can match training to the skills needed for the jobs of the future and strengthen and sustain the growth of our business community. The City can also provide access to a variety of jobs programs that offer workforce placement & training assistance.
Downtown District Development
The Downtown District Plan is a 4-part project focused broadly on the potential of landscape and public space to shape the character, function, and quality of Ravenna’s downtown. These four parts include landscape, placemaking, civic spaces, and bike routes & trails.
CITY OF RAVENNA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Dennis West, Director
Ravenna, Ohio 44266
CITY OF RAVENNA BUILDING DEPARTMENT
Robert Finney, Engineer, Chief Building Official
530 North Freedom St
Ravenna, Ohio 44266