Marshall County Focusing on Removing Risk for Businesses

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Jerry Chavez is the president and CEO of the Marshall County EDC. Jerry Chavez is the president and CEO of the Marshall County EDC.

The chief executive officer of the Marshall County Economic Development Corp. says the recent commitment by Bluffton-based Pretzels Inc. to expand its Plymouth operations is a direct reflection of the county's business-friendly environment. The company in May announced plans to invest $71 million to add more than 120,000 square feet of space. Jerry Chavez says the organization has worked over the last several years to streamline the process for businesses to locate or expand in the county.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chavez said the effort has sought to minimize the risk for businesses.

"That way, businesses can have a sense of security in terms of what they can expect relative to incentives (and) relative to time frame of those approvals," said Chavez. "Part of what we've done is shape our program, shape our process and shape that conversation, through consensus building, with those community leaders to help them understand that, in the world of these types of transactions, businesses are very risk-adverse. The more clarity, the more surety you can provide in terms of these incentives, being able to structure deals or even the process of getting those deals approved at the local level, it just adds comfort to them in terms of predictability."

He says removing the risk associated with these types of deals can improve a community's competitiveness. He says the feedback the MCEDC has received about its process in economic development has been very refreshing.

"The last thing we want to do is create a lot of red tape and delays. Businesses, as they make decisions to expand to a certain location, they've got a monumental task in putting up their buildings and getting to a point where they do what they do on a regular basis and that is produce some product that the market wants, we recognize that. There's a lot of things that drive our decisions and our process. Ultimately, we feel it's our responsibility to be very proactive and recognize that if a company is willing to invest, in the case of the city of Plymouth and Pretzels, $71 million, it's our opportunity to push out the welcome wagon and make it very not onerous for these companies as they go through their process."

Marshall County is also a finalist for this year's Stellar Communities designation. In a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Chavez said the county is placing a heavy focus on housing and helping veterans find employment. You can watch the full interview by clicking the link below:

Chavez says the effort has sought to take out the risk for businesses.
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