How Can You Make Vacant Commercial Space Work for You?

Chad Bice | September 3rd, 2013

How could vacant facilities be so lucrative? You can thank the state of Ohio for making that possible. In an effort to encourage the revitalization of vacant business property, Ohio enacted a bill that created the Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund, a program that essentially pays businesses to purchase or lease vacant property. So by now you’re probably wondering how your business can get a piece of this action. 

If you’re a business owner who is required to deduct and withhold income tax from your employees, then you’re eligible for this cash grant – $500 per qualifying employee – if you purchase or lease vacant commercial space. You must employ at least 50 workers, or at least 50 percent of your employees who work at the vacant property must be employed in Ohio.

Taking Advantage of the Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund

There’s an application process that interested business owners need to go through before receiving the grant. Here’s what is needed before you can see the cash:

  1. An affidavit proving that the building meets the requirements of vacant commercial space from the current property owner must be completed and presented to the Ohio Development Services Agency.
  2. Payroll records that prove you have at least 50 employees working at the vacant property, or at least 50 percent of your workforce working in the state of Ohio, for at least one year.
  3. Quarterly wage reports that indicate your employees and your base employment threshold.
  4. Lastly, you’ll need to provide a statement that confirms you agree to provide the Ohio Development Services Agency with all documentation showing that you’re using the grant for its intended purposes.

Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund Help

Of course, with any grant programs there exceptions and rules you need to follow to keep the grant. To learn more about what these rules and regulations are, visit the Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund website. If you need help understanding the program, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax professionals can help you figure out how to make this grant work for you and your business—and ultimately the state of Ohio.


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