Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Butler modifies business recruiting



By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A public-private organization that promotes Butler County will reorganize and change its name to strengthen its efforts to attract businesses to the area.

After Jan. 1, the Economic Development Association of Butler County will become the Butler County Alliance.

Its board of directors, now composed mostly of government officials and bureaucrats, will be dominated by officials from private companies.

County Commissioner Courtney Combs announced the changes Tuesday at a luncheon meeting of the Southeastern Butler County Chamber of Commerce at the Wetherington Golf and Country Club in West Chester Township.

The existing name confuses a lot of people, said Combs, the luncheon's keynote speaker.

"Nobody knows what EDABC stands for," he said.

The private sector's larger role in the organization will help strengthen business recruiting strategies and make it a more helpful one-stop shop for companies interested in moving to Butler County, Combs said.

The county, which has seen enormous residential and commercial growth in the past 30 years, must continue to be aggressive in pursuing new businesses and retaining existing ones so that property taxes don't become too burdensome for residents, he said. "We're looking at all aspects of our economic development," Combs said. "We can't afford to rest on our laurels."

The county's new 100-mile fiber-optic network - which offers quick, high-quality transmission of video, voice and data - gives Butler a tremendous advantage over many other counties in attracting businesses, he said. Butler County is one of the few counties in the country to have its own fiber-optic network. "We are on the cutting edge of communication technology," Combs said. "

E-mail skemme@enquirer.com




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