Cleveland City Council Wants More Community Benefits From Developers

A proposed measure would require developers receiving city incentives to provide more benefits to local stakeholders and increase local hiring.

1 minute read

March 7, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Cleveland, Ohio

Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock

City leaders in Cleveland want to require developers of big projects to offer more community benefits in exchange for tax breaks or other privileges. As Nick Castele reports in Signal Cleveland, the city council wants to ensure that projects create jobs and opportunities for local residents and contractors. According to City Council President Blaine Griffin, “it’s getting harder and harder to sell these big-ticket projects if people don’t see that they’re getting a return on their investment.”

Under the proposed legislation, developers receiving $250,000 or more in taxpayer incentives would be required to meet hiring goals for local, minority-owned, and women-owned contractors, offer apprenticeship and internship programs, and maintain communication with stakeholders, among other items. Projects costing over $20 million would have to adhere to additional requirements. “Those options include hosting job fairs, doing neighborhood infrastructure work and offering joint-venture opportunities to women- and minority-owned firms.”

Under the proposed measure, the city would also have to create a public dashboard identifying community benefits statistics. “The numbers on the board must include the revenue directed toward women- or minority-owned businesses and revenue to Cleveland residents, parsed by race and gender.”

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