Our Mission

To implement economic development financing initiatives that strengthen and diversify the economy of Summit County and Northeast Ohio by encouraging investment in business, industrial, transportation, distribution and community development projects.

Our Strategic Plan

Click to download a PDF of the Strategic Plan

Our History

In 1993 the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (then named the Summit County Port Authority) was created to save abandoned rail lines in Summit County for future transportation needs. The first board of directors, along with former County Executive Tim Davis and then-Summit County Council president Kimberly A. Zurz, realized the potential for the Port Authority to spur economic development in the region and refocus the organization’s efforts on job creation, development finance, and building a strong tax base.

In 2000, when James B. McCarthy became County Executive, the SCPA’s powers were officially expanded, better positioning Summit County and Northeast Ohio for the economic well-being of the people who call it home. Since its reconfiguration in 2000 as the economic development agency for the County of Summit, the DFA has followed its mission of providing economic benefit to the businesses and communities in our region.

In an effort to better describe the actual function of the organization, in 2012 the name was changed from the Summit County Port Authority to the Development Finance Authority of Summit County.

Since 1999, the DFA has issued over $1.3 billion in economic development bonds, leveraging $1.2 billion in investment to support community and economic development activity in our region. Through the New Markets Tax Credit program the Development Fund of the Western Reserve (DFWR) has allocated $80 million federal NMTC plus $11 million Ohio NMTC, leveraging $66 million additional federal and state NMTC allocations. These finance projects enabled the DFA to directly or indirectly be associated with the retention and creation of 22,391 jobs, including thousands of construction jobs.