Powell working closely with business owners considering the areaRegional Spotlight — By Melanie McIntyre on April 29, 2013 at 8:00 am
With the top-rated Olentangy Local School District and a .75 percent income tax rate, Powell is widely considered a great place to live in Central Ohio. However, the city also considers itself a great place to do business.
In fact, the Powell Community Improvement Corporation actively makes incentive agreements geared toward the small business owner.
“Larger municipalities typically do not pay attention from an incentive standpoint to the small business community, so we feel we have a special niche area that everyone else is avoiding,” says Eric Fischer, Powell’s assistant director of development.
Typically, city officials meet with business owners considering the area to learn about their use and needs, and help them find a worksite if they haven’t already determined where they want to be, he says.
Aside from incentive agreements that the city often crafts on a case-by-case basis, businesses in Powell also have direct access to city staff, along with their colleagues at Historic Downtown Powell Inc. and the Greater Powell Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The city has continually strived to make key infrastructure improvements to help with the traffic flow as well as with our pathway system, which makes our downtown particularly attractive,” Fischer says, adding that Powell officials work with a local company, TW Telecom, when businesses require fiber access.
In 2002, Powell’s downtown was targeted for improvement and a downtown revitalization plan was created. Mixed-used zoning in the area helped spawn what is now known as the Downtown Business District.
“Over time, this mixed-use district has developed very nicely, both with retail and professional offices,” Fischer says.
In addition to downtown Powell, Wolf Commerce Park is another area where small businesses are growing and thriving.
“The Wolf Commerce Park was planned from the beginning to support small- to mid-size businesses and is zoned with a combination of planned commercial, office and industrial districts,” he says.
In recent years, the city has also concentrated on forming a technology cluster with companies that specialize in computer sciences, engineering, and biosciences.
“Another sector that is consistently growing is the finance sector because of our area’s strong income demographic,” he says.
To learn more about the city of Powell, visit CityOfPowell.us.
Melanie McIntyre served as editorial director of The Metropreneur from its launch in August 2010 to May 2013. She is also a featured writer for Columbus Underground and writes about fashion, style and pop culture on her blog, Thoroughly Modern Melly. Melanie is an Ohio State University graduate, lives in the Short North, and enjoys reading and running.
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