Clinton County Port Authority Economic Update and Recognition of Partners
11 Aug 2022
Clinton County, Ohio, located in the center of transportation corridors with a major transportation asset, the Wilmington Air Park, gives businesses and industry considerable and convenient reach. Businesses can capitalize on this superior location because of a substantial talent pool, robust infrastructure, and the support of Clinton County Port Authority and its partners.
Year-to-Date Economic Development Snapshot
Clinton County Port Authority is the first stop for businesses looking to expand into Clinton County and local businesses looking to grow. Here’s what’s happening:
- Thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development secured by the Port Authority, the City of Wilmington was able to repair and repave Airborne Road, a significant municipal roadway and primary point of access to numerous businesses — including the Wilmington Air Park, where 14 businesses employ nearly 4,000 people. JobsOhio and Dayton Development Coalition also helped to make this $2.2 million infrastructure investment possible.
- In another project along Airborne Road, Polaris Inc. broke ground in March on the expansion of its distribution facility in Wilmington. The project is a win for the community as well as the company. The company will grow its eastern presence to better serve its dealers and customers and create an estimated 20-25 new jobs over the next three years.
- The Clinton County Port Authority was part of the team that helped facilitate the venture between GA Telesis and Air Transport Services Group, Inc. to establish the first-in-the-nation Specialized Procedure Aeroengine Hospital in the Wilmington Air Park.
- A new economic development initiative - Wilmington DRIVE (Downtown Revitalization Investment Vibrancy Effort) - is being implemented to advance and accelerate downtown Wilmington redevelopment opportunities. Wilmington DRIVE is designed to facilitate new private sector investment, generating new job creation and downtown housing opportunities. Objectives include encouraging creative adaptive re-use and mixed-use development and reducing financial barriers to investing in the community’s urban core. The initial round of funding for the program will be provided by the City of Wilmington, the Clinton County Board of Commissioners, and the Community Improvement Corporation of Wilmington.
- The Clinton County Workforce Collaborative is an initiative launched a little over a year ago by the Clinton County Port Authority, OhioMeansJobs Clinton County, Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, and the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. The Collaborative is already working on first-step solutions such as a School & Community Connections Resource Guide and an upcoming Career Exploration Fair.
- The Wilmington Air Park has maintained the #1 in Ohio ranking since February 2020 and is the 25th highest-volume cargo airport (out of a field of 770) in the United States.
- Ohio Business Magazine named Clinton County Port Authority one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Ohio. This is the third year straight for this top honor.
- Clinton County Port Authority won awards from International Economic Development Council and Mid-America EDC in 2021.
Power in Our Partnerships
Economic Development is a team effort. Clinton County Port Authority is proud to collaborate with its partners: City of Wilmington, Clinton County Board of Commissioners, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, Wilmington Community Improvement Corporation, Main Street Wilmington, Ohio Small Business Development Center at Miami Regionals, and Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. Here are some achievement spotlights beyond our significant collaborations:
- Since October 2020, Ohio Small Business Development Center at Miami Regionals (MUSBDC) has worked with 41 small business clients in Clinton County. Six new businesses have opened, over 90 jobs have been created, and sales have grown by over $9 million!
- Brausch Brewery - one of the MUSBDC's clients - recently reopened with a food menu to pair with their craft beer selections. "The SBDC worked with us in creating a 12-month business plan to include a financial forecast, marketing strategy, and stepping stones to continue the growth of the business. They spent countless hours helping us stay on track with our new goals. Our expansion wouldn't have been possible without the support, knowledge, and time they dedicated to us and our business."
- Wilmington/Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, in the last 12 months, has welcomed 42 new members, hosted over 20 ribbon cuttings and celebrations, and posted over 300 job listings with almost 27,000 views. In just four weeks in November and December, they collected 6,675 entries in their 13th Annual $25 Days of Christmas, reflecting $166,875 in local spending and a total economic impact of $280,350.
- Clinton County Board of Commissioners has been working on infrastructure needs this year with a broadband feasibility study to analyze service and infrastructure needs as well as methods for increasing internet accessibility in Clinton County.
- Main Street Wilmington undertook a major downtown revitalization project in the last 12 months that resulted in the creation of Sugartree Community Square. It all started when an empty 45’ x 170’ lot in the heart of the Downtown Wilmington Arts and Entertainment District emerged in the spring of 2021 from the demolition of a building that was deemed a public nuisance and safety hazard on West Sugartree Street.
- Main Street Wilmington recognized this space was ripe for transformation and made it a priority to transform this lot into a usable downtown space that residents and visitors could utilize until a permanent master corridor plan could be actualized. There was no budget, but in a very grassroots crowdfunding manner, fundraising began, and donations trickled in, both monetary and in-kind. Through the hard work and vision of a handful of residents and business owners, Sugartree Community Square was born. This mixed-use public space is now accessible to families and visitors alike, including concert goers, workers seeking an outside dining option for the lunch hour, or visitors enjoying the benefits of our DORA district.
- To date, the lot has been leveled and graveled by the City; posts, lights, ADA-compliant picnic tables, and benches were installed; boulders were positioned as hardscapes, and fresh flowers were planted to complete the landscaping. Several volunteer groups stepped in to assemble and paint tables and benches, creating a public art display. Future plans include specified children’s areas with a natural playscape, sound wall, bug hotel, and more.
- Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts successful events like Rock the Block and the Friday Night Summer Concert Series, and manages a Community Events Calendar to share opportunities for residents and visitors to explore all Clinton County has to offer year-round.
- Clinton County Regional Planning Commission spent time in the last year developing and adopting the new Clinton County 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Led by a diverse 28-member steering committee, the Plan includes five goals reflecting themes from community input. Each goal is supported by several objectives, organizing the Plan’s 86 actions.
- The RPC also continued its land bank work, disposing of 20 properties in the last year, with 17 of those properties going for new construction in eight different jurisdictions. As a result, vacant and abandoned structures will be converted into new residences in nearly every community in the county.
Clinton County Port Authority
Clinton County Port Authority is the first stop for businesses seeking to expand into Clinton County and local businesses looking to grow. Contact us today!