Economic Development

Economic Recovery Plan

The environmental clean-up in East Palestine is mostly complete. However, the economic recovery is just beginning. 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.

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.

Community Improvement Corporation

The Village of East Palestine is taking big steps towards fostering economic development and revitalization with the establishment of the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC). Authorized under the Ohio Revised Code, the CIC is a non-profit corporation which will serve as the driving force behind these crucial efforts.

Under Ohio law, villages can do development, but it’s harder and slower for them to do so. The CIC exists to undertake these activities in a timely and business-like manner. And the CIC is especially built to negotiate deals and sign contracts with developers and businesses allowing it to swiftly respond to the evolving needs of the community. Its purpose is to work alongside the village to accomplish development goals and to spearhead transformative initiatives.

CICs are very common across the state, having been on Ohio’s law books since the 1960s. By law, the CIC must have members of the Village government on its board – including members of Village Council. That’s because the CIC is actively seeking development deals on behalf of the Village – so it needs some Village leaders on its board. But the Village Council members sitting on the CIC board serve as volunteer private citizens. And CIC board meetings are not considered Village Council meetings. Importantly, CIC board meetings are fully open to the public. We invite you to attend!

Abilities include but are not limited to the following:

Formally registered with the State of Ohio, the CIC is in the process of securing a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit designation from the IRS, further cementing its commitment to serving the public interest. Transparency and accountability are paramount to the CIC’s operations.

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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