County’s enterprise zone agreement succeeding

County’s enterprise zone agreement succeeding

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Over the past years, Holmes County has utilized the Holmes County Enterprise Zone Agreement as a way of encouraging area businesses and companies to remain in the county. These agreements are part of a plan to help entice companies to grow and add and retain jobs while committing to remaining in the county.

Mark Leininger, Holmes County director of economic development, performed a review of all 37 enterprise zone agreements earlier this March and found the program continued to be a critical part of the ongoing effort to bolster the economic community in Holmes County.

“Of the 37 agreements, six have not yet received the abatement due to them still being under construction,” Leininger said. “For the most part, everyone is in compliance with the terms of their agreements. There were a couple of exceptions where there was a shortfall in the job creation and retention commitment area.”

Leininger said those companies will be contacted, and the county will work with them to try to get them in compliance. He went on to recommend all 37 agreements be continued and approved by the commissioners for the year 2022.

That request was ratified by the commissioners, and Leininger said he will now file the contents of the company reports.

“Each company completes a three-page report with their information about their agreement and the extent of which they fulfilled the terms of their agreement,” Leininger said.

He said those agreements would be filed through the department of development’s online system, and the agreements will be continued.

Commissioner Joe Miller said this program began close to 20 years ago, and while it had its critics when it began, seeing the results speaks volumes.

“This is an amazing program,” Miller said. “It’s amazing to see how many people have built, and we have given all but one a 50% (tax break incentive) for 10 years.”

Miller said nearly all the companies that have joined the program were existing companies in Holmes County that wanted to maintain their status in Holmes County, showing a desire to add jobs and grow their companies while bolstering Holmes County’s economic growth.

“Many have been on a long time and are starting to come off, and most are businesses we wanted to make sure we kept in the county,” Miller said. “We didn’t do any for new businesses coming into the county.”

He said the idea was to protect businesses that were already in Holmes County. He said having the support of the school boards and township trustees has made the enterprise zone effective.

“It’s about creating jobs and keeping businesses in the county,” said commissioner Ray Eyler, who added it also helps bring in employees from outside the county, which also bolsters the economy.

According to Leininger, nearly 2,500 people from outside the county come to work in Holmes County every day.

Leininger said through the years the agreement has resulted in the retention of 2,831 jobs and the creation of 1,056 jobs. It also has netted a grand total in capital investments of approximately $140 million.

“It has helped make Holmes County a powerhouse,” Miller said.

The list of the 37 companies that have become part of the tax incentive plan is as follows:

Quattro G Ltd. and Guggisberg Cheese; Stamark Ltd. and Coblentz Distributing Inc.; MLT Winesburg LLC and Winesburg Meats; Winesburg Enterprises Ltd. and Winesburg Chair Company; Troyer Land Ltd. and Troyer Cheese, now Lipari Foods Operational Company LLC; CBSA Ltd. and ProVia; D&N Development and Fryburg Door; Bend Lane and Buckeye Seating; Weaver Real Estate Holdings and Weaver Leather; Carter-Jones Lumber and Holmes Lumber; Middleton Holdings Ltd. and Dutch Design Ltd.; Winesburg Enterprise and Winesburg Chair Company; Burhholder Realty Ohio and Dutch Valley Food Distributors; ProVia Stone LLC and ProVia Door Inc.; Swiss Valley Furniture Ltd. and KSQRD Ltd.;

Berlin Gardens LLC and Yoder 5 LLC; First Choice Exteriors Ltd. and Holmes County Holdings Ltd.; Krestview Woodcraft Ltd. and Krestview Real Estate Ltd.; Winesburg Hardwood Lumber Ltd. and Winesburg Enterprises Ltd.; Walnut Creek Chocolate Company Inc. and JM Coblentz Properties Ltd.; Crow Brands Inc. and Chief Killbuck Holdings LLC; Canal Dover Furniture LLC and Rivertree Holdings LLC; Buckeye Rocker LLC and Buckeye Acres LLC; Jacob & Levi’s LLC and SC Terra Firma LLC; Premier Metals & Carlisle Holdings; Case Farms Processing Inc.; Luxcraft LLC and Krestview Real Estate; Centor Inc.; Winesburg Pallet Company and Winesburg Enterprises Ltd.; and Mullet Cabinets Inc. and D&N Development Ltd.

Several of these agreements are still underway as of Dec. 31, 2021.

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