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  • Writer's pictureNico Samaniego

Erie County Economic Development Corporation

Memorable Moments

2022 has been an incredible year of growth for Erie County Economic Development Corporation, Firelands Forward, and the RISE Team. Working hard behind the scenes in the accomplishments highlighted in the first eleven-days is our team. Please check out some of our favorite accomplishments and moments from a very busy year... ONE |Programs Earn International Recognition The International Economic Development Council recognized two of Erie County Economic Development Corporation's programs in 2022. The Minority Business Empowerment Team (MBET) earned the silver award for Economic Equity and Inclusion for their work to reduce barriers to entry for minority entrepreneurs. Firelands Forward received the gold award for Talent Development and Retention for their efforts to retain talent in the region and help employers build systems to decrease turnover.

TWO | Annual Meeting The ECEDC team sure knows how to throw a party. This year's annual meeting was a lot of fun, with record setting attendance and even a signature cocktail from one of the award-winning local businesses. Over 400 of our closest friends came out to celebrate some of the accomplishments of our area businesses and leaders to include American Colors, Everwild Spirits, Larry Fletcher, McKenzie Spriggs, and Eileen Bulan.

THREE | Record Year for RISE Alissa has really ignited RISE's ability to serve our community's entrepreneurs and small businesses. Alissa has hosted over 150 RISE appointments where she, and expert business advisors help mentor small business owners and entrepreneurs on topics such as marketing, writing a business plan, finance and accounting, etc. Her leadership has helped position RISE as one of the premier small business development programs in the region. FOUR |MBET Scholarships To aid in the Minority Business Empowerment Team and RISE's effort to increase available resources for minority small business owners and entrepreneurs, MBET and RISE awarded twelve "Startup Scholarships" to minority business owners with a monetary value of $7,000. A special thanks to the Mylander Foundation and For Love. With Love Charity for helping resource this incredible tool getting new businesses off on the right foot.

FIVE | Employer Resource Network ROI Firelands Forward launched the first Firelands Employer Resource Network in 2022. This service provides an onsite coach to help employees solve employment barriers and work towards becoming a self-actualized employee. Based on a decreased turnover rate and savings on associated turnover cost, participating businesses have seen an average of 400% Return on Investment. The Firelands ERN will double its capacity to serve regional businesses in 2023.

SIX | Regional Childcare Needs Assessment Firelands Forward partnered with the Childcare Resource Center to conduct a regional childcare needs assessment throughout the Firelands region. This study provided quantitative data to inform strategic solutions around increasing the inventory of childcare providers, decreasing cost, supporting a pipeline of credentialed childcare workers, along with other innovative solutions surrounding the childcare crisis. Firelands Forward will continue to work with partners and area experts in order to address this complex challenge.

SEVEN | Team Upskills with TechCred The ECEDC Team took advantage of Ohio's TechCred program this year. The team conducted Excel, Wordpress, Search Engine Optimization, and Project Management courses in order to upskill the team while being fully reimbursed by the State of Ohio. ECEDC conducted over $10,000 of training for free with this valuable resource from Ohio's Office of Workforce Transformation.

EIGHT | $6M Brownfield Grant In partnership with 2509 Hayes LLC and the Erie County Port Authority, ECEDC played a pivotal role in the receipt of a $6M grant from the Ohio Department of Development for the remediation of the large industrial site located on Hayes Avenue. This grant is a significant step in the revitalization of this substantial local property. NINE | Ten Year Anniversary for RISE It seems like just yesterday when the Regional Incubator for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) program was created. A decade later, RISE has served 581 entrepreneurs and small business owners, creating a substantial economic return in the region. With a new program manager at the helm, the next decade is sure to bring continued growth and impact to our community. TEN | Another Successful Young Professional Week An important part of retaining talent is creating a network of young professionals that want to be engaged in the community. The North Coast Young Professionals hosted their annual Young Professionals week over the summer. The event provided networking and professional development opportunities to young professional throughout the region and resulted in substantial growth for the organization.

ELEVEN | Investment in Housing Study Housing in the Firelands Region has become a barrier to both employment and talent attraction. Firelands Forward partnered with Huron, Ottawa, and Erie Counties to sponsor an in-depth analysis of the housing landscape throughout the region. This study will provide community leaders with a picture of the local housing situation in order to inform strategy and attract developers to our area.

TWELVE | New Team Members Last, but certainly not least, is our favorite memory of the year. The ECEDC team grew by three in 2022 with the birth of Abbey's triplets, Charlie, Marly, and Henry. With three new team members on board, ECEDC is ready to jump into 2023 and continue to make waves in the economic and workforce development growth of our community.

We hope you enjoyed the ECEDC stroll down memory lane in the annual "Days of Development." There is much cause to celebrate past successes and new beginnings in Erie County. Congratulations to all the businesses featured in our series. We look forward to working with you in 2023


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