GRAFTON—The Taylor County Development Authority committees are making strides in their work, after only being established for a short time.
Back in January, after some restructuring, the Taylor County Development Authority (TCDA) instituted two committees with distinct goals in mind, to help make the authority more visible to the community, as well as helping to grow and foster business in the area.
“The committees are off to a great start and are making progress,” shared TCDA Vice President Karen Temple. “Through our monthly meetings, we have already begun to take steps needed to make ourselves visible and draw attention to the county.”
According to Executive Director Patricia Henderson, the TCDA’s marketing committee has been working with West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media on a logo and slogan that will represent the authority.
“Our goal is to attract, increase and retain businesses and support long-term growth for Taylor County,” Henderson explained. “So, we approached the students for a little bit of guidance to help get our name out in the community and make us more visible to businesses.”
When the committee initially met with the Enactus WVU campaign team, there was a blank slate, but committee members reveal that they will soon have both items.
“We had no logo or slogan and had done very little marketing outside of some interviews with the local paper,” Henderson shared. “So, we were 100 percent moldable.”
In addition to the creation of a “brand” for the TCDA, she noted that the Enactus students will be creating a survey that the TCDA can pass out to businesses and citizens to receive information on their expectations of the authority.
Temple shared that the Action Plan Committee members have been hard at work gathering information on what businesses will need from the TCDA to make an informed decision about establishing or moving here.
The group discussed the types of information that would be most helpful when presenting new businesses with the prospect of bringing their operations into the area.
They decided that obtaining a list of properties is important for the organization, along with attaining a list of funding sources, including available grants, what areas are in opportunity zones that business owners could benefit from, tax and utility credits that may be available and the availability of low interest loans.
“We need to focus on the demographics of the area, as well. People want to come to an area with recreation opportunities, good health care, a safe environment and good school systems,” Karen Temple commented. “Promoting our positive demographics will be important for us.”
To round out the list of information the group would like to gather, they focused on finding a list of current businesses, as well as compiling a list of potential businesses that might see coming to Taylor County as a great opportunity.
“The need for current traffic counts and other demographic information has the committee looking into a Demographic Feasibility Study to provide current information to potential businesses,” Temple noted.
“The next goal for Action Plan Committee is to host speakers from economic development contacts to obtain information on grants, tax and utility credits,” she added.
Henderson revealed that the TCDA will be looking to develop two new committees that will focus on infrastructure and tourism, to help better serve the county, and they hope to have those committees up and running in the near future.
Additionally, Henderson and Temple revealed that the West Virginia Economic Development Office has listed for sale Builders Service and Supply, located on Route 310. The site consists of 48 plus acres and an expandable five-car railroad spur, along with gas, water, sewer and internet utilities.
“The site would be perfect for any business that would be able to use those contributors,” shared Henderson. “It would be a great location for any kind of business, really.”