Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund (OCAF)

The Warren County Port Authority recently established the Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund (“OCAF”), a bond fund featuring a system of pooled reserves designed to provide credit-enhancement to debt issued through OCAF. An important tool for economic development, OCAF enables the Port Authority to provide real value to projects of many sizes for which it could only otherwise serve as a conduit.

The Port Authority can issue taxable or tax-exempt bonds through OCAF to finance a variety of economic development or governmental projects. OCAF leverages its system of reserves coupled with additional layers of project-specific securitization from ranging from individual company credits, guarantees, mortgages or security agreements, to pledged TIF or special assessment revenues. Companies and communities utilize the Bond Fund for access to long-term, fixed rate financing to fund facility expansion, increase their manufacturing capacity, and purchase new equipment.

Eligible Borrowers

  • Industrial or Commercial companies, including manufacturing, distribution, housing and education
  • Infrastructure Projects (TIF & Special Assessment Projects, including PACE)
  • Governments, including municipalities, townships, counties, and school districts
  • Non-profit or 501c (3)

Eligible Projects

  • Land or building purchase
  • Building construction or renovation costs
  • Long-term leasehold improvements
  • Capitalized costs directly related to a fixed-asset purchase

Advantages

OCAF offers governments, developers, and regional companies access to project capital at terms and rates that may not be available through traditional lending channels. The advantages the bond fund provides to small, medium and large companies are its ability to service longer loan terms and fixed interest rates. Project terms have the ability to be extended up to 30 years. In addition to term length, the interest rate may be fixed for the entire term of issuance based on the rate at the time of sale. Smaller companies and governments have access to borrow in capital markets at investment grade where they traditionally weren’t able to before. Larger projects benefit from investment grade ratings where it would otherwise traditionally be too costly and difficult to maintain.