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COLUMBIA CITY â€” Twenty years in the making has put Whitley Countyâ€™s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in a position to focus on the future, rather than simply celebrate the past.
While reveling in its 20th anniversary, Alan Tio, president of the EDC, applauded the organizationâ€™s capabilities to help launch new businesses in Whitley County as well as sustain existing ones.
â€śWe have had a lot of success throughout 20 years in attracting businesses, and we have tried to keep existing businesses here as well. We are the only community in the region to offer a small business program as part of our EDC,â€ť Tio said.
â€śWe try to help everybody â€” and we can. Whether they are an entrepreneur with an idea written on a napkin, or they are a stable business looking to expand the market,â€ť Tio said.
Tio has been with the EDC for five years, and said the source of recent success has come from a surprising area.
â€śMuch of that has been the great recession and recovery,â€ť he said. â€śIt required us to work with companies and find growth opportunities. It does take a lot of creativity and innovation.â€ť
This has moved the EDC to a new place. Some of these business resources did not exist 10 years ago. Back then, the economy was stronger on a national level. Tio said the change in economy has made a difference.
â€śNecessity has been a great motivator in order to be responsive to every company and every community,â€ť Tio said.
â€śWe make sure we pursue opportunities in every corner of the county.â€ť