The Johnson County Development Corp. says area business leaders are optimistic about opportunities for growth this year. The organization says more than three-quarters of those who attended its annual meeting this week expected their companies to expand in 2014.

March 20, 2014

News Release

Franklin, Ind. — A snapshot poll indicates strong optimism about business growth in Johnson County in 2014.

More than 75 percent of business leaders attending the Johnson County Development Corporation's Annual Meeting on March 19 said they expect their companies to expand this year. Another 19 percent said they expect business to remain steady.

Also, 40 percent of the respondents said they are likely to hire more employees in 2014, while 50 percent said their company workforce likely will stay at the same count.

“While the poll comes from a sample of local companies, the results were very encouraging. They reflect what we hear when we talk to our members and Johnson County businesses,” said Cheryl Morphew, CEO and President of JCDC.

Other poll results included:

– 67 percent said their businesses saw steady revenue growth in 2013, while 16.7 percent said revenue stayed the same.

– 73 percent said a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage for workers would not impact hiring or wages at their company, while 27 percent said an increase would have a negative impact.

– 56 percent said the Affordable Care Act federal health insurance reform law is having a negative impact on their company's expenses, while 41 percent said the new law is having no impact on their expenses.

The real-time internet poll was taken during a presentation about local and national economic indicators during JCDC's annual meeting at Dye's Walk Country Club in Greenwood. Gerry Dick was the event's keynote speaker.

JCDC representatives also reviewed 2013 successes and discussed 2014 initiatives, including the launch of Aspire Johnson County — a community betterment initiative.

Among JCDC's highlights:

2013 ranked as the highest year in new capital investment projections in Johnson County.

JCDC project successes in 2013 included proposed 321 new jobs and projected $117million in new capital investment.

Data tracked the past eight years shows JCDC has assisted economic development projects totaling $700 million in new capital investment and 3,869 new jobs.

Cooperation between municipalities and their elected officials and stakeholders are at an all-time high. Morphew credited Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers and Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness for their teamwork. “I cannot stress how lucky we are to have such a dedicated team of elected officials and stakeholders who work together collaboratively. Repeatedly, I hear both Mayor Myers and Mayor McGuinness say 'A win in one of our communities is a win for everyone in Johnson County.' ??

Leaders from 14 industries believed Johnson County provided the talent and business climate necessary to grow their facilities.

The majority of the investment and job creation came from our existing business base.

Morphew also noted the recent trend of “Made in the USA” and the re-shoring of jobs and investment to the United States. She pointed out that e-commerce and distribution company NT Supply in Greenwood grew tired of shipping delays and the associated cost of getting water filters from China. An analysis showed they could manufacture the product here and reduce their costs. As a result, they launched Midwest Purification which will manufacture the water filters in shared space at their Greenwood facility.

Morphew also thanks the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which provided JCDC more than 60 percent of new company leads, and the Indy Partnership, which provided 20 percent of leads in 2013.”Their staff travels continuously to promote Central Indiana on our behalf.”

Morphew said 56 percent of all business relocation or expansion leads in 2013 requested an existing building. She said having a product like the Franklin Shell Building project continues to give a competitive edge to Johnson County and helps attract prospects. The IEDC recently said there are only 13 shell buildings in Indiana and 8 communities are considering building one in 2014. “Franklin remains ahead of the curve,” Morphew said.

JCDC is a non-profit private/public partnership providing economic development services for communities and companies throughout Johnson County, Indiana.

Source: Johnson County Development Corp.

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