Alliance Area Development discusses company growth in meeting
ALLIANCE – Community membership is an important aspect of growing a business, according to Mike Crawford.
The Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company said that the success of many companies in one area lifts the whole area.
“You are starting to see how this really energizes and ignites the community,” he said.
Crawford spoke at Alliance Area Development’s annual meeting this week at Alliance Country Club on Business Development in County Stark.
Crawford detailed Hall of Fame Village’s expansion plans, and AAD representatives shared examples of growth and business development within the Alliance over the past year.
“The words ‘Alliance Area Development’ are not really revealing. Some people are always confused between what we really do, the City of Alliance Economic Department and the Chamber of Commerce,” said Scott Robertson, Chairman of the Board. administration of the AAD. “So tonight we will try to give you some highlights.”
The agency operates on a budget of $ 200,000, said Robertson, and works to support the growth of Alliance businesses. This includes providing financial assistance to small businesses in the community.
“We’ve been doing this for several years through loans. We’re basically the second-largest funder. So we’re usually second behind the bank to help businesses buy machinery or make a small addition to their business,” said Robertson. .
AAD has active loans with seven small businesses in the region, totaling approximately $ 200,000, he said.
Additionally, Robertson said the agency provides assistance and resources to businesses through its community partners, helps them apply for training and labor grants, and helps bring in immigrant workers. in the community to fill vacancies.
“More recently I worked with a local company here that was looking to bring in and brought in about 25 to 30 workers from another country, where we helped them find housing. I worked with Mount Union University to find interpreters, to get transportation for these people, ”he said.
During the meeting, AAD President Rick Baxter listed some of the agency’s developments throughout the year, including its move from Carnation City Mall to downtown Alliance.
It also highlighted several businesses that have opened in the Alliance region over the past year, including Aeonian Brewing Co., TJ Maxx, State Farm Plaza, Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and Skechers Outlet. Baxter cited the new Circle K installation, who innovated in May and is under construction, as another example of commercial development.
“It will be a great addition to this part of town,” he said.
Looking ahead, Baxter said the redevelopment of the Carnation City shopping center is still underway. The city plans to enroll the property in a progressive tax financing (TIF) program that exempts homeowners from 100% property taxes for 30 years.
As part of the plan, Alliance would temporarily own the mall before transferring it to Fairmount Properties, a Cleveland-based company that plans to redevelop the property into a retail center.
In January, Alliance City Council reached an agreement with the local school district of Marlington that would allow the district to receive an amount equal to 25% of what it would have received in property taxes without the TIF program.
The city had to go through legal work before it could implement the plan.
“The parties are discussing,” Baxter said. “So we hope to see some movement here with this very soon.”
Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected], or on Twitter at @paigembenn.