The Economic and Community Development section works to cultivate economic opportunities for Wooster's current and future businesses and residents. Our primary purpose is to enhance prosperity for businesses and individual residents alike by securing grants to fund neighborhood and industrial infrastructure, marketing the City's resources and managing incentives programs to encourage new development, assisting with long-term planning efforts and performing impact analyses, and providing consultation for businesses, start-ups, and residents alike working to increase prosperity and quality of life.


The main goal of economic development is improving the economic well being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of life (International Economic Development Council).

The City of Wooster supports this through creating dynamic incentive programs that allow us to compete on an international stage to attract business investment, employment, and growth. The Wooster Micropolitan has consistently been among the top-performing micropolitans in the United States. (Site Selection Magazine). The City of Wooster is responsible for providing the heavy transportation and utility infrastructure, along with emergency and community services that supports over half of all Wayne County jobs within our limits. Additionally, Wooster is seat to Wayne County's retail primary market area, accounting for a minimum of 45% of retail sales and sales taxes that support the entire county. Creative programs such as the Enterprise Zone (Wooster being one of only four cities in the State of Ohio to host such a program), and the Community Reinvestment Area, along with our Local Job Creation Tax Credit Program, allow our community to make strategic investments in expanding businesses - partnerships that not only support our companies, but also provide major tax savings to our residents. 

The purpose of community development is to enhance economic opportunities and quality of life for Wooster's neighborhoods.

The Community Reinvestment Area has not only served to help small businesses reinvent and revitalize Wooster's downtown, but has served to create ample job opportunities throughough the City. Additionally, the program has helped individual homeowners throughout our community's historic district rennovate, expand, or rebuild their homes using the same tools as major corporations. The City has also invested to support the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program on behalf all of the Wayne County, in partnership with the Wayne County Planning Department, the City of Orrville, and the Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority. This program supports roughly 10 needy households in the City each year in repairing their homes. The City also participates in the Community Development Block Grant program, along with other infrastructure grant programs that help to repair streets, install signaling equipment at intersections, assist with remodeling historic buildings, and create bike trails, all of which adds to the value of properties throughout the community while improving accessibility and quality of life for all residents and our visitors. 

Grants & Programs
  • Enterprise Zone Program
  • Community Reinvestment Area Program
  • Residential Community Reinvestment Area Program
  • CHIP - Community Housing Impact and Preservation Grants and Loans
  • Wooster Opportunity Loan Fund
  • Americans with Disabilities Tax Credit
  • Fair Housing Program
  • Job Creation Tax Credit Program
  • Project Management Support (Wooster Growth)