Development leaders want more public money to help technology-focused small businesses grow.
An application to the Montgomery County ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) fund is being prepared to help bolster the state Entrepreneurial Signature Program that seeks to give owners of small, techology-oriented businesses expert advice.
Dayton government is preparing the grant application, but the money will go to the ESP program, administered in this region by the Dayton Development Coalition. The application will be made public Monday, but leaders are already seeking the support of Montgomery County municipalities.
Officials would not say how much money they're seeking.
"It's a significant amount of money, " said Timothy Downs, Dayton deputy development director. "It's on the larger end of projects that have come through the ED/GE program."
Joe Tuss, Montgomery County administrator, said helping "small and emerging" businesses has been identified as one of the top priorities in the county's "MCO Future" program -- a recent series of meetings and overtures to the public to help direct government priorities.
The coalition declined to comment before the grant application was submitted.
Under the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, the state has six ESP programs, run by regional development organizations, such as the Dayton Development Coalition.
Last year, an evaluator hired by the Ohio Department of Development recommended that Dayton and Toledo's ESP programs not be approved for a new round of funding. But Katie Sabatino -- spokeswoman for what is now the Ohio Development Services Agency -- said that after a review, department staff decided in August to fund the Dayton program (called "Development Projects Inc.") with $4 million, through 2014.
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