Lisa Arend, Fulton County economic development director, showed some features of the revamped economic development website to Archbold Village Council.
Speaking at the Monday, Nov. 5 council meeting, Arend said the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation provided funding to hire two full-time employees to develop the regional supply chain connection.
The project has been under development for nearly two years.
The website allows businesses to search for suppliers or other services throughout a 12-county area. Listings range from hotels and food services through steel production.
A click on a company listing takes the viewer directly to the company’s website.
Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, told council one company had been going out of state to get its raw materials. By using the regional supply chain connection website, it was able to find the same materials within the area.
Arend said purchasing locally can save on transportation costs.
Plus, the raw material supplier added two employees to keep up with demand, creating new jobs.
The website might also help industries make decisions about locating in the area, by providing detailed maps and aerial photos.
Arend told council she needed them to introduce the website in the community.
Also, if there are changes, such as businesses being missed in compiling the information or new businesses opening, she asked that companies contact her office so the website can be kept up to date.
The website has been available about 45 days, and is already getting hits, she said.
There is also interest from five other counties about participating.
Discussions are going on about where the server for the website would be located, and how it will be funded.
Arend also showed council a site selection tool on the website, allowing people looking for a business location to search sites in Fulton County.
She said a newsletter also has been created, allowing those involved in economic development to keep up on the latest news.
It’s a tool that provides another channel of communication, she said.
Arend said the Fulton County commissioners also are backing a plan that will require a three-person development team for any economic development project in a community.
Team members would be a member of that community’s city or village council, the mayor or village administrator, and Arend.
In December, Arend said a meeting is planned at Sauder Heritage Inn with a consultant who will provide input and feedback on how to sell Fulton County and its communities.
Arend said Fulton County Economic Development “is starting to get out there, in the mix.
“We’re being recognized. People are learning who we are.”