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February 27, 2014

100 projects and counting at One Southern Indiana

Organization toasts economic development milestone

NEW ALBANY — One Southern Indiana, the local economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties, celebrated a milestone in its economic development efforts Thursday.

With a sparkling cider toast, the organization celebrated its 100th Economic Development Project at its New Albany headquarters.

Wendy Dant Chesser, President and CEO of 1si, kicked off the celebration, thanking those present for their efforts and saying, “economic development is a team sport.”

For its one-hundredth project, 1si helped PTG Silcones, Inc., obtain a small business revolving loan — its 19th project — to add manufacturing equipment at its New Albany Industrial Park location, capping off a $1.9 million capital investment for expansion.

The Horseshoe Foundation Small Business Revolving Loan Fund financed the $49,000 purchase, and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. provided a training assistance grant of up to $15,000 for job skills training for the business.

The Horseshoe loan fund has approved 27 low-interest loans for 22 Floyd County Businesses since its inception. PTG “was our first loan in 2009,” said Jerry Finn, executive director of the Horseshoe Foundation of Southern Indiana. “And now they represent our one millionth dollar loaned.”

“One Southern Indiana has always been great at supporting me and our business,” said Brendan Cahill, owner of PTG. “We started with one employee in 2007. I understand manufacturing. They helped me understand the other business areas.”

Cahill said the organization helped him with tax abatement issues among other things, “both on the local and state levels.”

1si takes three approaches to economic development: attracting new commerce, assisting with retention and the expansion of existing businesses.

The PTG Silicones project represented business expansion, but two other projects were feted as well.

L&D Mail Masters, Inc., representing business retention, was 1si’s seventh, 50th, 80th and 89th projects.

“They are the best cheerleaders I have in town,” said Diane Fischer, owner of L&D. “They’ve helped me grow from my home to over 180,000 square feet on Grantline Road.”

Representing new commerce and 1si’s 97th project, American Fuji Seal, Inc.’s vice-president Bruce Atcher addressed the crowd, thanking the organization for its assistance in finding a new location for the Japan-based company.

In 2013, American Fuji Seal, a world leader in labels and packaging, located in River Ridge Commerce Center, bringing 60 high-paying jobs and an estimated $11.9 million annual payroll.

The company looked at sites in a geographic region defined by Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, and North Carolina before settling on Southern Indiana.

“It was a simple matter of Googling ‘economic development,’” Atcher said. “They (1si) have a website and they answered the phone. We couldn’t be more happy.”

Since 2006, 1si has assisted in the creation of over 9,500 new jobs. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the organization claims $22.6 million in new capital investments, 262 new jobs, and $13.7 million in added payroll in the region.

“A lot of this is possible only because of investment dollars we receive,” Chesser said. “We have to thank our investors. Our current return on investment is more than $172 for every dollar invested in our organization.


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