Economic Development – OLD

Economic Recovery Plan

The environmental clean-up in East Palestine is mostly complete. However, the economic recovery is just beginning. At least eight businesses closed as a result of the February 3rd derailment. Almost every business has lost sales, and many businesses experienced a spike in employees quitting. To accompany the environmental healing; the community has launched an economic recovery plan.

In September of 2023, the Village began an economic development planning process with the help of several regional economic development partners and Bricker Graydon, an Ohio law firm with several specializations, including economic development. The plan began with a deep dive into the state of the local economy – its strengths and the challenges.

Norfolk Southern has donated the historic 1890’s train depot to The Village and plans to begin external renovations in late August or early September with an expected completion by Summer 2024.

Strengths and Challenges

The strengths of the community are that people still want to live, work, and go to school in East Palestine because of its real quality of life. People can still afford to buy a home or build a business in East Palestine at prices far below other parts of the country. It is safe, affordable, close-knit, and right in the middle of the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Canton metro areas.

Its economic challenges are not unique: a transitioning economy; aging homes, buildings, and infrastructure; and struggles attracting and retaining young talented people. But the train derailment added another level of fear and apprehension that rippled through every aspect of the local economy.

One of the first steps the Village took on the road to economic recovery was the creation of a Community Improvement Corporation, which will serve as the agent of the Village in executing many steps in the economic development plan.

Community Improvement Corporation

The Village of East Palestine Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is an established non-profit corporation authorized under the Ohio Revised Code. The CIC will work in the community’s interest and serve as the agent of the Village to lead economic development efforts and downtown revitalization. The CIC can act more nimbly and business-like than the Village.

CIC powers include the ability to enter into development agreements with businesses, take on debt, issue debt, buy/own/lease/sell property, receive and make grants, etc. The CIC has been created and registered with the State of Ohio. A 501 (c)(3) charitable non-profit designation from the IRS is pending. A board of directors comprised of public officials, businesspeople and civic leaders will soon be formed. The CIC will hold public meetings and be subject to state audit requirements.

Heart

Make A Donation

We are working hard to help our town recover from the devastating train derailment. Here's how you can help. The Village of East Palestine Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is a newly established non-profit corporation that will serve as the agent of the Village to lead economic development efforts. Donations will be used to support a North Market Street downtown revitalization project and provide start-up administrative costs for the CIC.
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Recovery Timetable

We hope to see some tangible progress in 2024. Some of the capital investments planned could take two years or more to complete. Yet, we believe once progress becomes visible, many people will want to join the recovery efforts and help write what we hope will be the greatest comeback story in American history!

Small Business Resources

Visit these websites for valuable information and resources for your small business.
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