Cincinnati and northern Kentucky partnering to bring businesses and jobs to the region

10/17/2017 01:55 PM

ERLANGER – Looking at ways to attract new business, retain existing business, and bring about new capital investment and jobs to the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati region was the subject of this months Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Eggs N Issues breakfast.

Dan Tobergte, President and CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, and Johnna Reeder, President and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, discussed how partnerships between their two organizations are essential in today’s business landscape to attract employers to the area.

The region is in the midst of trying to lure Amazon, who is looking to build a second $5 billion headquarters operation which could employ up to 50,000 people at an average annual salary of over $100,000.

Amazon is looking for up to 8 million square feet in a metropolitan area with at least 1 million people, characteristics which fit the Greater Cincinnati area.

Northern Kentucky won a battle earlier this year for Amazon Prime to locate a hub at CVG which will eventually employ 2,700.

Tobergte feels that landing the hub could give the area an advantage in landing Amazon’s headquarters site.

“We’re going to work extremely hard on that deal because it’s going to show well as we compete for HQ2,” Tobertke said.

Reeder feels that the area is positioned perfectly geographically to attract businesses like Amazon and similar companies who need to get goods from one area to the next.

“When you’re within one days drive or a 90 minute flight of half the U.S. buying power, that helps you out when it comes to distribution,” Reeder said. “People need to get just-in-time service to their clients, and that’s one of many reasons that northern Kentucky was chosen for the Amazon Prime location.”

Reeder says that one of the things businesses are looking for in a possible location are places where they can be up and operating in a short period of time.

“You have to have a quality pad ready, in other words, ready to go vertical sights,” Reeder said. “You have to have good utility rates, you have to make sure that you’re business friendly, a great business climate.”

While the region has made some progress on the education front, Tobergte says that thing need to improve.

“We need to do better in terms of college attainment scores, but also in the vocations, the ability to work a trade,” Tobergte said.

As for as making sure the area has the land needs to attract new manufacturing companies, Tobergte says that his organization is being proactive in having sites ready that businesses are looking for.

“We’re going to go out with an RFP to try to get some assistance from the professional site location community to help us gauge what is the future land needs for this region from an industrial standpoint,” Tobergte said.

Another area Reeder says that is an important factor in attracting and retaining businesses in a particular area is transportation infrastructure.

“If a client says I need to be on a bus line, I need ready parking, I need options to get them to and from, it makes a difference, and our transportation system could use some love,” Reeder said. “Not everyone wants to own a car. They want public transportation.”

Tobergte also believes another way to attract new business is for chamber members to be active ambassadors for the region.

“You can use your social media awareness, you have a great way of getting the word out about northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati,” Tobergte said. “Each one of you can help by doing that and telling the great story of what we’ve got here.”


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