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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Pemberville: Village develops into an enterprise zone

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Pemberville is doing everything it can to attract business.

The whole village is now an enterprise zone now that Pemberville's request was approved by Wood County commissioners and the state in July.

An enterprise zone helps the village attract and retain businesses in exchange for tax incentives.

It's at the village's discretion which businesses they grant abatements to and how much, said Roger Klee, an enterprise zone manager for the village.

"What the town is attempting to do is to improve the economic environment, so that like a lot of small communities, it can grow and offer the same incentives that a large-scale area can," Mr. Klee said. "It can't stay in the horse-and-buggy era. It is a nice little town, but like a lot of little towns, they're all competing for limited dollars."

An enterprise zone is a tool many communities use to become more competitive, attract new industry, target specific types of business, and increase tax revenues and employment opportunities.

Some businesses take advantage of locating in an enterprise zone because the tax incentives can offset high start-up costs, create a competitive advantage, allow them to reinvest in facilities and equipment to grow, and can help create a long-term relationship between the community and business.

The village is beginning an overhaul of the area designat-ing itself an enterprise zone, applying for funds through the Community Development Block Grant program, and revitalizing the downtown.

"Everything is kind of a piece of the big pie," Mayor James Opelt said. "The tax break is certainly a positive, but most people want to relocate to an area with good schools, a vibrant downtown, and an active community. "Once they come and see the quality of life here and what we have to offer, it's a place they want to do business."

The village has sent out a survey to its residents and businesses to see what they want in downtown Pemberville. Based on that, the village will start marketing for those types of businesses, Mr. Opelt said.

"We now have the tools and the bigger project is now using them and implementing those that are available to get new business," Mr. Klee said.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

mgilbert@theblade.com or

419-724-6050.



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