Two counties team up to promote I-70 assets

(Posted Jan. 7, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Clark and Madison counties have joined forces to better compete for business with their metropolitan bookends, Dayton and Columbus.

The idea is to promote an asset both counties share—I-70—and to brand the microregion as the “I-70 distribution-logistics corridor.”

“Both counties are proven to be a place where these kinds of companies choose to locate,” said David Kell, economic development director for Madison County Future Inc., the county’s community improvement corporation (CIC).

Several distribution centers have set up shop along I-70 in Clark and Madison counties. The freeway access and labor pool are main attractions, Kell said.

To market this fact and hopefully attract more businesses, Kell and Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for Springfield/Clark County CIC, are spearheading creation of a website.

The site will show properties available for development along I-70 in Clark and Madison counties, list other community assets, and detail workforce and incentive programs in the area.

“We want to raise awareness of both counties… and market what we have to increase our opportunities,” Kell said.

While this approach is designed to give the counties a fighting chance against nearby big cities, both counties understand there could be times when they will compete against one another to land a business.

“In those cases, we’re going to let the sites and the communities speak for themselves. We won’t try to undercut each other,” Kell said.

Kell and Hobbs are informally calling this agreement “coopetition”—a blend of cooperation and competition.

“If a company is looking at sites in both counties and chooses one in Clark County, we’ll let that dialogue happen and honor it,” Kell said. The same goes for Clark County if Madison County is favored.

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