The New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. finished 2021 off strong. The EDC is going into 2022 with some strong focuses on tourism, brand development and entrepreneurship.

The Courier-Times spoke with New Castle-Henry County EDC President Corey Murphy about 2022.

Murphy said, “It’s an exciting time to be in Henry County and be in economic development. I’ve truly been blessed to be here. There’s gonna be a huge opportunity, in my opinion, for some strategic investment. Opportunities are Food and Beverage Grant, READI and ARP money and more will be available. I think we will see a lot of planning with those opportunities and hopefully some buildings like infrastructure and quality of life projects. We have tremendous opportunities to leverage the resources available.”

The Food and Beverage Grant is funded by a local sales tax on all prepared food sold at Henry County restaurants and gas stations.

“READI” is the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative.

ARP refers to funds Henry County and local towns received from the federal American Rescue Plan.

Murphy spoke about some of the EDC’s main focuses for 2022.

Entrepreneurship

“We are gonna be more intentional on how we support entrepreneurship,” he said. “That really speaks to the environment we can provide when people start and grow their businesses. We are wanting to primarily focus on the start-up business aspect. We are going to evaluate and see if our environment is good for start up businesses to grow here. We will encourage that, continue to support and partner with (New Castle) Main Street and Business Builders, which is a phenomenal program. But we’re always asking ‘what else we can do?’”

Tourism

The NC-HC EDC has been in charge of local tourism officially for a year now.

“We had our agreement with the Tourism Commission approved,” Murphy said. “This past year, we have focused on understanding our brand and who we are. That included a community-wide survey. We did all the homework working with the public and a committee of volunteers to come up with our brand and logo.”

Henry County EDC unveils new local tourism logo; "Basketball Lives Here"

Murphy gave an update on the website HoopsinHenry.com

Murphy said, “Phase 1 of the website is done. It launched a few days before Christmas. I expect it will be complete in the next couple of months. A lot of work that will need done (and) continue on into the new year.

“I’m excited about Tourism and the Bicentennial celebration coming up in June. That matches our brand with the Knockout tournament,” he added.

2022 in sight for Bicentennial Committee; Counting down to Henry County's Birthday