Greensburg Daily News
The Decatur County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) held its annual meeting Thursday to discuss last year’s progress and next year’s prospects.
The EDC, whose mission statement is, “To be a catalyst in increasing economic wealth and growth in Decatur County through collaboration with government officials and business partners,” met at the MainSource Corporate Office for the annual gathering. The meeting was open to the public and featured many Decatur County business owners, as well as EDC officers.
After a lunch catered by Highpoint Orchard, the meeting opened with Bryan Robbins, the president of the EDC, offering his welcome to the assembled people. Robbins informed the group that Thursday’s meeting was the 10th anniversary of the EDC and recognized all the EDC members that were part of the founding group. Robbins went on to mention several of the large changes to Decatur County in the last 10 years.
Robbins turned over the podium to Chris Bower, the treasurer for the EDC. Bower requested that the minutes from the 2012 meeting be approved and received no objections. Bower then spoke about the very tight budget within which the EDC operates. He stated that without city, county and board member contributions, they would not be able to fulfill their mission. Bower also mentioned that the largest expense from 2012 was moving the EDC offices to City Hall.
Robbins then read the nominated officers' names and the assembled members voted them into office. The officers for 2013-2014 will be: Bryan Robbins, president; Linda Simmons, vice-president; Chris Bower, treasurer; and Chris Poling, secretary.
After the election of officers for 2014, Robbins introduced EDC executive director, Marc Coplon. Coplon spoke to the group about the importance of relationship building events with local businesses, going on to mention several examples that have been or will be beneficial to the county. For example, both Hitachi Powdered Metals and Valeo are planning expansions that will create more jobs in Greensburg. Coplon stated that the events centered on relationship building with businesses will only lead to more expansions and new business referrals.
Coplon mentioned a recent EDC hosted job fair that featured 22 employers and more than 250 job seekers as an example of successful relationship building between the EDC and local business. He also mentioned an EDC planned industrial park that will consist of 425 acres and will be located on the north side of the Honda interstate interchange. The industrial park should be open before the 2014 EDC meeting. A possible $90,000 grant for the EDC small business revolving loan fund was mentioned as well.
In addition, Coplon spoke about the upcoming Southern Indiana Automotive Expo, which will take place June 20-21. Coplon stated that the auto expo would be a major event for the region. He also listed several of the speakers slated to take the podium at the expo, which include Honda president Bob Nelson and Chrysler vice-president Brian Harlow, among many others.
Coplon then introduced the featured speaker, Trevor Lane, who is the director of the southeast region office of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). Lane, who oversees the economic development of 19 southern Indiana counties, said, “Decatur County is great. When a problem arises, you all sit down and get it solved.”
Lane went on to list the many reasons why Indiana is a prime state for economic growth. He stated that Indiana possessed several major selling points when it came to convincing businesses to move here. Firstly, Indiana is the only state slated to have more than one billion dollars in tax cuts over the next two years. According to Lane, the extensive list of tax cuts and credits are serious perks to businesses looking at locating in Indiana, as is the Right to Work law.
Other Indiana benefits used to attract businesses were: top credit ratings, low debt, the large number of colleges, and numerous airports, interstates and highways, which put Indiana less than a day’s drive away from 80 percent of the country’s population. In addition, the amount of agribusiness, manufacturing, national security and information technology are large draws for businesses looking to move to another state.
The meeting closed shortly after Lane’s speech and was adjourned by Robbins. Based on the level of excitement EDC members showed for Decatur County’s upcoming prospects, next year should be beneficial for both the Tree City and the county.
With luck and good business relationships, county residents should see new businesses and more jobs in the coming year.
Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004