10/18/2013 11:41:00 AM Marketing Henry County New city marketing team revealed
By SARA GEER email@example.com
Selling Henry County is the focus of a new marketing team.
Business leaders and community members met the 10-member team Wednesday morning to learn how to best sell Henry County.
Mayor Greg York along with Missy Modesitt of the Chamber of Commerce teamed together to create a team whose members share a role in bringing new economic development to Henry County.
"Economic development is a collaborative effort," Corey Murphy, New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation director, said. "It helps tremendously if we're all on the same page."
Murphy said Henry County's strengths include its readily available hard infrastructure - utilities, water and sewer. A weakness is the perception that there is a lack of available qualified labor.
"A client that comes to Henry County already has this perception that they will struggle to find qualified labor," Murphy said. "We have to use and sell the pipelines through Ivy Tech, government and even real estate to show these companies that Henry County is a great place to live."
County Council member Clay Morgan said government can be a helpful resource for improving economic development.
"We strive to provide fiscal management that provides predictability for business," Morgan said. "We also can provide tax abatements or tax phase-in processes that provide an attractive environment."
New Castle resident Dale Cole asked if government can provide an alternative to tax abatements. The answer was not at this time for Henry County.
"There are best practices across the state for progressive incentive program," Murphy said. "Wayne County offers businesses a cash grant. If we would go into a war for incentives, we can't compete with that."
Members of the marketing team are Henry County Community Foundation, Henry County Visitors Bureau, New Castle Area Career Program, Henry County Hospital Association and Healthy Communities of Henry County.
Modesitt said a new city marketing brochure is available at the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office for use by anyone to sell Henry County to interested outside parties.
"While there are organizations represented on this team, a lot of times its the front line people - gas stations, restaurants - that interact with outsiders first," Modesitt said. "We want to entertain a company coming in that we are organized and are all in this together."
Sara Geer is a staff writer for The Courier-Times.