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Published: Wednesday, 1/26/2005

Perrysburg to offer cash as business enticement

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg is now offering cash to businesses to entice them to expand or move into the city.

City council voted 7-0 to establish a job creation and retention program at its meeting last week.

"It gives economic development initiatives in town something else in their toolbox in dealing with companies who want to locate here," said Councilman John Kevern, chairman of the economic development committee.

According to the ordinance, the program will allow the city to give grants to companies that will "attract new job opportunities to the city and for existing businesses to expand."

Officials hope the grant program will help the city remain competitive with other communities in attracting and expanding businesses.

Mr. Kevern said the wording of the ordinance was left deliberately vague so the city can tailor the grants to each situation. For example, a company that would bring in many jobs would get a bigger grant than a company that would only create a few jobs.

Perrysburg offers tax abatements to businesses considering relocating in the city. Officials hope the grant program will make the city even more attractive.

"This gives us a little something else," Mr. Kevern said.

Maumee has had a similar program for several years, with the grant amount based on the company's annual payroll.

It began its job-creation and retention grant program in 1992, and since then, the city has awarded more than $5 million to companies that pledged to relocate to Maumee, hire more employees, or make capital improvements at facilities in the city.

Most recently, Maumee City Council in November awarded up to $26,940 to Mechanical Design Associates Inc. and Morgan Mechanical Services Inc., which have common ownership, when it agreed to stay in the city rather than move.

Mr. Kevern said that although he couldn't think of any specific companies that Perrysburg has lost to other communities like Maumee, he thought that has happened.

"I kind of feel that some people have gone to Maumee," he said.



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