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Wabash one of 11 counties to receive business development grant

Staff Report

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership (NIRP) received a matching grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to increase domestic business development trips and site selector visits to the 11-county region consisting of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties, according to a Thursday press release.

Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, stated the additional IEDC support allows local economic development organizations like Grow Wabash to increase the region’s U.S. presence and enhance the region’s collaborative approach to business development.

“Grow Wabash County and the Regional Partnership travel together frequently selling our county, region and state. With the support of this grant, we have been able to maximize our economic and business development work to make Northeast Indiana a magnet for the best businesses and talent by boosting our travel efforts,” stated Gillenwater.

This year, regional representatives traveled to competitive markets like San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago to meet with business executives and site selectors to build relationships and share advantages of doing business in the state and Northeast Indiana. The region is working in collaboration with individual counties and communities to strategically target key industries and key U.S. destinations that align with Northeast Indiana’s economic growth and vision for its future.

To enhance the region’s U.S. presence and increase regional business development efforts, the Regional Partnership also hosted four nationally recognized site consultants who met with more than 30 regional economic development leaders for a day of discussions on industry best practices.

The training was coordinated by the Site Consultant Advisory (SCA) Group, a division of Area Development Magazine, the publisher of a national site consultant magazine and host of several site consultant conferences every year.

The SCA Group consulted with economic development groups, regional stakeholders, business leaders and elected officials to review and provide feedback on current processes. The daylong training was designed to be interactive and provide specific feedback on how to compete for and win economic development projects. The SCA Group training was also an opportunity to highlight the benefits of doing business in Northeast Indiana to the site selector attendees.

John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, stated by working together as an 11-county region to learn best practices and enhance opportunities with local and statewide partners, he is confident the IEDC grant will benefit not only the region, but also the entire state. The grant is part of a new IEDC program launched this year, which awards matching funds up to $100,000 to a region to support business development trips and site selector visits, enabling each region to drive strategies based on its unique industries and advantages.

The grant is part of a new IEDC program launched this year to further business development and enable each region to drive strategies based on its unique industries and advantages.