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Small Business Assistance



  • One on One Advising

  • Seminars

  • Critical Connections

  • Site Selection

Learn More


Assistance Expanding Business



  • Site Selection

  • Infrastructure and Regulatory

  • Research

  • Development Incentives


Sucession Planning



  • ESOP 

  • Business Listing 

  • Planning 

Learn More

From start up to succession planning, our team is here to help you every step of the way.

Expanding Business



  • Firelands Forward

  • North Coast Young Professionals

  • Shores & Islands Ohio

  • TeamNEO

  • JobsOhio

Learn More


Mentorship and assistance to grow your small business

  • 1-on-1 Advising - FREE advising sessions for entrepreneurs with expert business advisors.

  • Network & Resources - We help you make connections! We provide assistance in accessing funding opportunities and professional services. We have a growing network of RISE entrepreneurs & supporters who can share their stories.

  • Events & Programming - We host a range of events throughout the year from networking opportunities to informational workshops.

  • Contractor Connection - We can connect you with contractors that we know can get the job done and have a long track record of success.

As your business develops the assistance you need changes, RISE and ECEDC are here to help

  • Critical Connections - Connecting you with the people and business you need to move your business idea forward.

  • Site Selection - Utilizing our site database with over 100 available sites, we are able to find your next location that will meet your needs. 

  • Infrastructure & Utilities - We can link you to the various infrastructure & utility businesses and agencies needed to get your project up.

  • Economic Research - We can help you secure timely information to ensure that you make the most informed decisions.

  • Regulatory Issues - We can link you to the various individuals and agencies needed to get your project up.

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Building & Expandng



Business Assistance


Erie County Port Authority (ECPA) can structure deals to bring savings to your project. With tools including bond financing, sale tax savings incentives and the energy savings program (PACE), ECEDC and the ECPA can bring tangible benefits to your large expansion or construction project.

Business Assistance


Energy improvements are essential as business look to expand their operation. Connect with our office to learn more about the Energy Special Improvement District. 

Business Assistance


ECEDC can introduce you to a variety of attractive financing programs designed to complement your bank financing. Local, State, and federal programs all offer appealing features such as low interest, fixed rate financing.

Business Assistance


Securing tax incentives and targeted grants to support you investments and workforce training needs can give you a real competitive edge. ECEDC will introduce you to cost saving opportunities such as the Job Creation Tax Credit, sales tax exemptions, real property abatements, JobsOhio grant programs and more

Business Assistance


Linking you to various infrastructure businesses and agencies needed to get your project up and running. Depending on the project, connecting you to targeted programs to update and enhance public infrastructure.

Business Assistance


ECEDC is your connection to environmental site assessments and remediation funding available through JobsOhio

Business Assistance


Business leaders need current data on strategic topics such as the region's workforce, supply chain, transportation assets, market forecasts and tax comparisons before making final investment decisions. We can help you secure timely information to ensure that you make the most informed decision​.

Business Assistance


If excessive costs and time-consuming tasks of regulatory issues are challenging your growth, ECEDC is your link to solutions through our various relationships and contacts.​

Business Assistance


We recognize that every industry, and every business, is unique. We will work closely with you to understand your needs and tailor solutions to support your success.​



Our labor shed is regional, our solutions to labor problems should be too. Firelands Forward is a multi-county workforce development initiative led by ECEDC. Firelands Forward aims to produce an agile workforce system and skilled workforce for all sectors of the economy. Through a collaborative approach, Firelands Forward brings together business and community leaders in Erie, Huron, and Ottawa counties to align services and drive workforce solutions.

1. STUDENTS - The demand for skilled labor has never been higher. Local education often leads to well-paying jobs.

2. EDUCATORS - Graduating students should have an understanding of the labor market and a plan for entrance into a career field. 

3. JOB SEEKERS - Not only is the Firelands region affordable but we are the home of many great employers

4. EMPLOYERS - Utilize our team as your company's concierge for data services, training grants and more.  

Workforce Assistance


Grooming next generation leaders for your company? Recruiting out of area talent? The North Coast Young Professionals (NCYP) can be a tremendous asset to your organizational development. NCYP is open to professional individuals, under the age of 45, who work or reside in The Lake Erie Shores & Islands region and provides the opportunity to network and socialize in a relaxed and professional environment.

ECEDC partners with NCYP through committee collaboration on various talent-driven initiatives including our signature talent attraction event, Young Professionals Week.

NCYP is a community of emerging leaders who are making a positive impact where they live. By joining our organization, you will make friends, make a difference, and become a vital part of the Lake Erie Shores and Islands region. 


As the Northeast Ohio Region’s economic development partner, Team NEO accelerates the pace of growth and equity relating to business development outcomes throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio.

We work with a strong, coordinated regional network to advance the Northeast Ohio Region toward a truly vibrant economy: one that is talented, equitable, innovative, resilient, competitive, and prosperous.

ECEDC’s partnership with Team NEO directly benefits local companies with streamlined access to state incentive programs, robust regional data, and technical innovation insights. An ECEDC & Team NEO partnership draws on the combined strength of a region to accelerate economic growth in Northeast Ohio.



Shores & Islands Ohio is not just a's a feeling. It's the memories people have from unforgettable experiences here that live in their hearts for a lifetime. Boundless adventures and discoveries await. Shores & Islands Ohio embodies the excitement felt from the very first time you visit, to becoming a seasoned regular or a part of the community. It's where you find your Lake Erie Love. Start planning your next Lake Erie vacation.

Tourism plays a critical role in Erie County’s economy, and in attracting a competitive workforce and industry base. ECEDC partners with Shores & Islands Ohio, the official destination marketing organization for Erie and Ottawa Counties, to support the existing tourism industry. 

The partnership also leverages our region’s natural assets to attract and retain the best and brightest companies and individuals.

School Programs


We are cultivating relationships and enhancing connections between the business and education communities to understand ongoing opportunities and implement support strategies with our 48 partners. Projects and activities have included things like student workplace tours, a teacher business bootcamp, virtual career exploration tools, and more.

Comprised of all school districts in Erie County, private businesses, and community partners, and led by ECEDC and Firelands Forward, the Business Advisory Council aims to empower businesses, students, and communities so their futures can thrive together.



The Firelands Manufacturing Alliance is a group of regional manufacturers that work together to solve their shared problems. This often includes hosting educational seminars and workshops for manufacturers the learn about new technologies, approaches to hiring, and methods to retain talent. 

To learn more about the Firelands Manufacturing Alliance contact our office.

Young Professionals


Buidling a business starts with one person. After time that business shifts from being focused around one person to being focused on the team and the future. As the leadership within each business begins to plan for what happens next, we are here to offer our services and expertise to outline all of their options. 

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) - It starts with a basic question.  Everyone has to decide what he or she will do with the business at some point, so what is the succession plan?  If you have a family member that wants to take over, that makes the choice easy.  If you do not have a family member interested in taking over, you could sell to a 3rd party, or you could become employee-owned via an ESOP.  Becoming employee-owned via an ESOP creates tax advantages for the company and business owner.  It also saves the jobs of the employees while allowing them to accumulate wealth.  Most employees will never have the means to own significant assets other than their houses, but having ownership of the companies they work for provides a means to accumulate wealth.  While an ESOP is not the right fit for every business, if there is a desire to preserve the legacy of the company, an ESOP can be a good fit.

  • BUSINESS LISTING - ECEDC provides a centralized location for business development opportunities including the sale of existing businesses. Through this approach, potential buyers are properly vetted and work through a process to ensure they are a good fit. Listing your business with ECEDC is completely free and is shared with business leaders throughout the community. Initially businesses are kept anonymous until a potential candidate has begun the process. 

  • PLANNING - When a long-time leader is leaving a business a large amount of planning is necessary to ensure that business continues to operate at a high level. We can assist in the organizing and planning of information to ensure those who are taking over responsibilities, once held by the outgoing leader, are accurately accounted for, measured, and reported, to ensure the business continues to prosper. 

Business Assistance Team


247 Columbus Ave. Sandusky Ohio 44870

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