Economic Development Corporation of Medina County: Letter to Brunswick City Council
Following last night’s vote in New Brunswick, the business community of Medina County has made its opposition known to the City’s resolution which they believe will hurt economic growth in the City. Building of previous statements by major business owners, the Economic Development Corporation of Medina County submitted a letter to the members of Brunswick city council and the mayor outlining their concerns. The complete letter is below.
Dear Council Members:
As the Executive Director of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation, I have been following with some concern the media reports of your consideration of Resolution No.4-B. With Brunswick’s pro-active economic development program and the long-time support of local officials for its business community, the City has been lauded as a business-friendly community; however, I fear that the approval of this resolution could significantly harm not only that reputation, but result in the loss of both current jobs and future business attraction opportunities.
While the technical language of this resolution deals with home rule, the message it sends to the shale oil and gas industry is that companies in that industry are not welcome in Brunswick. Both in politics and in business, perception all too often becomes reality, and there could be great economic opportunity lost to the citizens of Brunswick with the passage of this resolution.
The development of shale oil and gas has already created thousands of jobs in the State of Ohio, but there are even more significant possibilities for job creation in the supply chain for this industry.
In analyzing a database of Medina County companies, I counted 49 businesses located in the City of Brunswick that are potential suppliers to the shale oil and gas industry, based on a set of widely acceptable industrial classifications. All together, these firms employ just over 540 workers.
There is great potential for the future growth of these companies, which would need to add new jobs to handle additional business in the shale industry, just as we have seen in the announcement of Philpott Rubber Company’s new subsidiary. However, if these companies are concerned that their customers would not want to be associated with a firm located in what they perceive as an anti-shale development city, then Brunswick could lose out on the growth of jobs and income within its community.
I would urge Brunswick City Council to look at this resolution anew and see it through the eyes of the business owners and workers who are depending on the growth of the shale development industry. If you are not willing to reject this resolution, please consider sending it back to committee for a more robust conversation with the business community.
Bethany Dentler, CEcD
Executive Director, Medina County Economic Development Corporation