Friday, August 17, 2001

Mason in group that woos firms

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — City Council this week agreed to pay $75,000 to join a collaborative economic development program run by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce to attract new businesses to the region.

        Mason joins 10 membership organizations as part of the Regional Marketing Partners, with the city of Cincinnati being the only other city. Mason will participate in the program for three years.

        City Manager Scot Lahrmer said the team will pool resources to implement a “full strength” approach to forge relationships with prospective companies.

        “This pooled initiative takes a local approach and makes it global,” said Mr. Lahrmer, adding that it is an “even greater opportunity to seize upon our local growth trends, taking our desired economic development direction one step further.”

        Neil Hensley, director of international marketing for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber already works closely with Mason.

        He said the Cincinnati chamber recently worked with Mason's economic development staff to help persuade LensCrafters Inc. to build a $32.5 million headquarters in Mason, instead of Atlanta.

        “They will be able to participate in activities that the Regional Marketing Partners decided to undertake, such as exhibiting at trade shows ... and marketing our region to countries around the world,” Mr. Hensley said.

        Other partners are: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; Cinergy Corp.; Clermont Chamber of Commerce; Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce; Downtown Cincinnati Inc.; Economic Development Association of Butler County; Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; Hamilton County Development Company, and Tri-County Economic Development Corp. These groups and the city of Cincinnati have invested a combined $650,000 toward the marketing efforts.


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