This week, the commissioners approved a $1.25 million grant to the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, which operates the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena, both of which are closely tied to our region’s travel and tourism industry and key components in our county’s economic recovery. In a typical year, Central Ohio welcomes 43 million visitors who directly spend about $7.6 billion and support 78,600 jobs in the tourism industry. The same visitors pay $1.35 billion each year in local, state, and federal taxes that support the arts, human services, and economic development in Franklin County.
This grant will allow the Convention Facilities Authority to purchase health and wellness supplies and equipment in order to enhance the safety protocols at the convention center and arena so that fans and conventioneers feel safe in coming back to large events in our community. Specifically, air filtration and body temperature scanning equipment will be installed.
At the height of the pandemic, the commissioners funded the outfitting of the Greater Columbus Convention Center as a 1,000 bed overflow hospital facility
that could be used in case area hospitals ran out of beds for COVID-19 patients. Fortunately, that facility was never needed. Today, getting our hotels, restaurants, convention center, sports facilities, and other attractions back on their feet will be key to helping our whole community recover.
The commissioners’ grant will be made from funds available via the American Rescue Plan. You can read the text of the resolution here
and learn more about how the commissioners are using the American Rescue Plan to help our community recover at Recovery.FranklinCountyOhio.gov