(Norwood, OH–6/26/13) Hamilton County Development Company (HCDC) has received a $30,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to launch the Hamilton County Business Retention Council.
The Business Retention Council will be headed by HCDC and will provide job retention counsel and expertise to local economic development professionals, elected officials, municipal managers and township administrators.

HCDC provides economic development services to Hamilton County via its Economic Development Office. While HCDC has conducted a business retention program in the past, the new Business Retention Council is an effort to coordinate with local jurisdictions, the County and the State of Ohio. The ultimate goal of the program is to retain existing businesses and help them expand.

“The Business Retention Council will allow us to provide counsel and coordination between communities and help them build and execute job retention strategies,” said Harry Blanton, HCDC Vice President. “This will help the County retain more jobs by focusing job retention efforts in specific, strategic ways.”

HCDC will provide assistance to communities who would like to start a business retention program, but have not had the resources in the past. It also will help those communities already conducting a business retention program, but could benefit from additional support and training.

“It’s important for Duke Energy that we do our part to help our communities remain economically vibrant,” said Marvin Blade, Director of Government and Community Relations at Duke Energy Foundation.” The Hamilton County Business Retention Council will serve an important role in helping individual communities put together strong, successful job retention strategies.”

“We are excited about the Business Retention Council,” said Jennifer Ekey, City of Harrison Economic Development Director and past President of the Ohio Economic Development Association. “This will help communities like ours be more competitive and it will help to coordinate economic development efforts throughout Hamilton County.”

HCDC is an umbrella organization that provides a number of business-related services to the region. It serves as the economic development arm for Hamilton County. It also runs the Hamilton County Business Center, which is a small business incubator in Norwood. HCDC Business Loans are available throughout the region via the Horizon Certified Development Company, an entity of HCDC.

The Duke Energy Foundation, along with employee and retiree volunteers, actively works to improve the quality of life in our communities, lending expertise in the form of leadership and financial support through grants to charitable organizations.
Duke Energy has long been committed to building and supporting the communities in which our customers and employees live and work. After all, our business success is intertwined with the communities we serve.

Harry Blanton, HCDC Vice President
(513) 458-2230