Join Oberlin's growing entrepreneurial network, HATCH, every third Tuesday from 5-7pm at Slow Train Cafe in Oberlin.  Discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions with other local entrepreneurs.

For more information contact Cullen at [email protected].

Our Commitment: Economic Development

1 Increase 3BL (Triple Bottom Line) Impact of local Economy ??? a more than >$100m impact.

  • Increase revenues of aggregate local retail/service businesses by 50% over five years.
  • Increase new jobs by 15% over five years
  • Decrease financial leakage by 25% over five years through local investment, energy efficiency savings, increase in local procurement/purchasing, increase of markets and businesses (food, service, goods) and through the build up of a robust energy and agriculture Land program.

2 Create Climate of a Sustainable Cluster of Business Culture that attracts innovative and new economy businesses to Oberlin while working within a regional context.

  • Green Innovation Business Park
  • Finance Tools: Create tools that give access to green bonds, investment capital, community investing and culture of entrepreneurship
  • Community Technology Transfer program to assist in entrepreneurial growth.

3 New financing mechanisms that will allow Oberlin businesses and anchor institutions to access cost effective capital for energy efficiency, energy renewable projects and general expansion projects that will ensure businesses within Oberlin operate 5% more effectively in terms of energy costs than competition, while reducing GHG.

How we get there:

The 15% and $6.9 Million Annual Shift: Our commitment is to shift local investing within Oberlin from Fortune 500 international companies over the next five years by 20% while advocating for shifting Oberlin College's Endowment by 1/2% of funds under management (June 2011 levels) to local and regional investment vehicles. We aim to complete this through local investment tools for local businesses including pre-sale, local CDs, and DPOs, creating three pilots during 2013, holding workshops on Community and Institutional employee powered direct investing/self directed IRAs, and by working with anchor institutions that can control their investments to utilize local investment resources, including within the opportunity created by financing needs in energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure.

Green Arts District/Gateway Impact:

Integrate Green Arts District planning as to maximize opportunities to drive economic development including but not limited to:

  • Creating one anchor national name destination restaurant or brewery within the Gateway project.
  • Push for 300 occupancy conference center that will serve the purpose of attracting name conferences, while inputting revenue into local economy while increasing funds collected through bed tax.
  • Continue to assist JVS with integration of culinary program into Gateway, along with other regional foods class programs.

Increase Impact of local Economy

  • Policy: Draft, Submit and Advocate for adoption of legislation and/or internal rules addressing and answering:
  • Local investing policies for both College and City
  • Incentive Policy through College and City for local living including property tax incentives and temporary incentive/rebates of local
  • Energy Disclosure on real estate and rentals
  • Opt-in residential energy district
  • Reduce-leakage policy

Sustainable Cluster of Business

  • Green Business Park: Feasibility study for creation of Green Business Park within with Oberlin City's Economic Development Staff. Complete by June of 2013.
  • Access to Green bonds, Investment capital and culture of entrepreneurship
  • Partner with LCCC for Community Technology Transfer office
  • Establish Oberlin within County and Regional ED plans as the 'sustainability and new technology innovation' district.
  • Develop and deploy a retention and attraction plan building on the Renewable energy electricity, high-road incentives and The Oberlin Project as the drivers.
  • Economic Assets & Opportunities Study/Plan. To include jobs/workforce development, financing, downtown business growth, and regional economic development opportunities). Begin during fall of 2012.

Financing: ED around Energy & Community Investing

  • Energy: New financing mechanisms that will allow Oberlin businesses to access cost effective capital for energy and expansion projects that will ensure businesses within Oberlin operate 5% more effective. Includes Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), ESCO, Clean Contracts and other demand side management tools.
  • Create/incentivize local firm for energy efficiency and renewable going concern.
  • Administration: Create a stand-alone institution, starting with ESID, that will manage Energy and Equity/Debt programs.

Sustainable Business Alliance

  • Inclusive local procurement policies. We advocate that local anchor institutions shift 25% of purchasing to local/regional firms/service providers. This brings more money into local economy while spending with an inclusive perspective.
  • Workforce Development, Apprenticeship, Community Benefit Agreements and Project Labor Agreement opportunities.


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