Appalachian Partnership, Inc., (API), Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC) held a virtual Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 25th at 3:00 pm, sharing the impact made across Southeast Ohio in 2020 and celebrating the accomplishments of local economic development partners and regional businesses.
“I don’t have to tell you that the past year has been a challenging time in so many ways,” began API and OhioSE Board Chair MarJean Kennedy. “However, what struck me most was the determination and resilience of the business leaders and residents of our region. We can all recount so many stories of struggles and strife, but watching our business leaders – watching you -pivot and adapt to the changing environment is truly inspiring.”
Kennedy introduced Dr. Glenda Bumgarner, the new CEO of both Appalachian Partnership and Appalachian Growth Capital, who shared how both organizations have grown in capacity over the past year.
“Appalachian Growth Capital has gained access to $14.2 million of loan capacity,” she said. “We provided 53 new loans to businesses who are now thriving.”
OhioSE also experienced growth in 2020, adding new team members, programs, and initiatives to better serve the Southeast Ohio region. Last year, OhioSE in partnership with JobsOhio and local economic development partners, supported 49 company expansions and locations, nearly twice the number of their previous best year.
“In 2020, companies committed to create 875 new jobs in Southeast Ohio, retain 6,095 jobs, and invest more than $382 million in capital improvements,” said Jacoby.
Looking ahead, Jacoby said the organization will focus on prioritizing further site and building development, large and small company expansion and attraction projects, supporting broadband deployment, transformational downtown projects, and more regional engagement and capacity building.
“I feel blessed to be able to work with such a talented group of professionals who wake up every day committed to the mission of helping the region because they are from here and want to make it a more prosperous place,” Jacoby said.
The Annual Meeting concluded with OhioSE Vice President Katy Farber announcing the recipients of four awards recognizing outstanding economic development efforts within the region.
For Best Site Development or Building Project, two winners were recognized: the Meigs County CIC Spec Building in Tuppers Plains, Meigs County and the National Road Business Park in Zanesville, Muskingum County. Both projects utilized a community strategy of investing in site and building development.
For Best Community Development Project, Sixth Sense Brewing Co. in Jackson, Jackson County was honored. This highly collaborative project brought together city, county, regional and state assistance for a tremendous downtown project that will benefit the surrounding community.
For Best Project, PureCycle: Ohio LLC in Ironton, Lawrence County was honored in recognition of an outstanding investment and job creation project. This project was the culmination of many facets of economic development coming together to secure investment and new job creation for the community.
“Our congratulations to the companies and our local partners for these well-deserved recognitions,” said Farber. “We congratulate each of you and thank you for the hard work you continue to do each and every day to strengthen our regional economy.”