About Economic Development

The Union County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) serves as the primary point of contact for companies looking to expand an existing business or relocate a new business to the County. We engage all projects in a coordinated effort and are dedicated to providing timely, efficient and seamless service for our customers. Our goal is to expand the economy of Union County by working together with our local, regional and state economic development partners to ensure that our community attracts balanced and sustainable industrial, commercial and residential development.

General services we provide:

•  Site Selection Assistance
•  Gathering of Demographic or Economic Data
•  Pursuing Financial Incentive Packages
•  Coordination of Meetings with Governmental Agencies
•  Assistance with Developing Your Workforce
•  Liaison with Permitting Efforts

We cordially invite you to utilize the links below to learn more about our organization and economic development efforts.

An innovative, connected, smart-growth economy combining manufacturing, research, agriculture, and retail in communities that provide a familiar sense of place.

Create a supportive environment that champions economic development, community improvement, and business viability to advance Union County’s economy and overall quality of life.

Community Improvement Corporations are authorized under Chapter 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code. “A corporation not for profit may be organized…for the sole purpose of advancing, encouraging and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial and research development of a community or an area.”

In furtherance of those purposes, the corporation is empowered to do the following:

•  Borrow money for any purpose of the corporation.
•  Issue bonds, debentures, notes, secured or unsecured.
•  Secure such mortgage, pledge, deed or trust, or other lien on its property, franchises and rights of every king of nature.
•  Make loans providing such loans cannot be obtained through normal banking or commercial channels.
•  Purchase, receive, lease, or otherwise acquire and sell, transfer, lease, sublease, or otherwise dispose of property.
•  Acquire goodwill, business rights, real and personal property and other assets of any person, firm, partnership, etc.
•  Mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber any property acquired.
•  Accept or purchase publicly-owned property or act as agent for such in its disposal.
•  Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers of the corporation.

The Marysville-Union County Port Authority is a statutory agent of Union County created by the Union County Board of Commissioners. Port Authorities were originally created to operate actual maritime ports, lake and river ports, as well as airports. Over time, the legal powers of ports have proven useful in serving the public interest for economic development as well as navigation.

While the Marysville -Union County Port Authority does not operate a traditional port, under the Ohio Revised Code, port authorities are given certain powers in the areas of real estate development, financing and management of foreign trade zones. Unlike a city or county, port authorities can buy land and construct a building that could be leased or sold to a business of its choosing at a privately negotiated price. They can also issue tax-exempt (and therefore, lower interest bonds) on behalf of a private entity for the construction of new plant or equipment.

The Marysville-Union County Port Authority is a proud member of the Ohio Council of Port Authorities.


Our Focus is to champion economic development, community improvement, and business viability for the betterment of Union County. By encouraging investment and employment opportunities, we aim to build a community where all residents can achieve personal and professional success. It’s not just our theory – it’s the American Dream. The global economy is always evolving and so is Union County. We’ve analyzed local, regional and national economic trends and researched the industries that are critical to creating long-term, sustainable and high quality employment within our community.

The following industries serve as the core of our economic development efforts:


The genesis for much of Union County’s past success and future potential rests within its agricultural community. In addition, the agribusiness industry in Union County blends into research, development, manufacturing and corporate services with companies like Nestlé, Select Sires, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company operating large, sophisticated corporate facilities in the county.

Corporate Services

Similar to research and development, Union County’s manufacturers have also developed a significant base of corporate support activities within the county. Scotts Miracle-Gro, Univenture, Select Sires and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. all call Union County home. Union County is also adjacent to large corporate services facilities for Cardinal Health, JP Morgan Chase, Ashland Chemical, Ohio Health, Wendy’s and others. New residential developments within Union County are targeted at attracting high income, white-collar residents who will add to the talent base that can attract corporate services facilities.


Over the last 30 years, Union County has become a perfect case study in how to leverage an agricultural workforce and work ethic into manufacturing success. Since Honda’s first investment in 1979, Union County’s manufacturing workforce has grown 5,691 employees and 20+ Japanese owned firms representing 24.4% of the County’s total workforce.

Research & Development

The success of Union County’s manufacturing and agricultural businesses has led the creation of a vibrant research and development sector within Union County. The majority of R&D conducted within the county is currently conducted within companies that have broader operations in the county. However, the existing base of R&D talent and facilities provide a platform for attracting and growing new R&D facilities.

Smart Technology

The world is rapidly evolving with new advancements in smart technology. Union County is an emerging leader in the research and deployment of smart mobility technologies, including connected transportation infrastructure, traffic management and safety systems, AV/CV testing, queue warning and pedestrian safety, and data collection and commercialization.

Targeted Retail

Marysville, Plain City, Richwood and other smaller communities in Union County are important retail hubs for both Union County residents and residents of the surrounding counties. As Union County continues to grow, it will be vital to ensure that Union County’s residents have access to the retail services that they desire in accessible, appealing locations.

We also work with businesses that are not in the above targeted clusters. Regardless of your industry, contact us and let us prove how a move to Union County is a move in the right direction.

Union County Economic Development Strategy

The Union County Economic Development Partnership/CIC and Union County Chamber of Commerce have declared the Union County Economic Development Strategy (EDS) to be the single most important document to maintain and improve the community’s economic health.

Drafted in 2013 and approved in 2014, the EDS provides an Action Plan that outlines specific recommendations on how we can improve our competitiveness and encourage business growth and development. With unprecedented changes in the national and global economies, rapid technological advancement, and a looming workforce crisis, economic diversification, refinement of workforce development policies, and expansion of the local tax base are critical to ensuring that our community continues to thrive and be self-sustaining.

The EDS examines what is working well and how we can leverage assets to attract and retain high quality businesses and development into the County. The strategy is intended as a guide for policymakers and businesses to identify actionable goals and tactics that will strengthen the economic vitality of Union County. A coordinated effort among various groups will ensure that the County’s economic priorities are being addressed and that actions will not take place in a piecemeal fashion.

You may download the 2014 EDS: Full Report, or sections: | Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 |

Our Financial Partners

In order to implement the Economic Development Strategy (EDS), public and private sector organizations have invested funds and have called upon other organizations to become involved in supporting the expansion of the Union County economy. The following companies, organizations and municipalities are our partners in economic development.

•  AutoTool
•  Century Link
•  Civista Bank
•  City of Marysville
•  Dayton Power & Light
•  Evolution AG
•  Fairbanks Local School District
•  First Federal Community Bank
•  Heritage Cooperative
•  Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
•  Honda Marysville
•  KTH Parts Industries
•  Lehman Daman Construction
•  Marysville Exempted Village School District
•  McCarthy & Cox Retirement & Estate Specialists
•  Memorial Health
•  Moriroku Technology North America
•  North Union Local School District
•  Pat’s Print Shop
•  Richwood Bank
•  Select Sires, Inc.
•  Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems
•  The Pagura Company, Inc.
•  The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
•  Union County Board of Commissioners
•  Union Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
•  Village of Richwood

Become a Partner

We strongly believe that now is the right time to accelerate our economic development efforts. At a time when other communities are scaling back their marketing efforts and downsizing their economic development programs, we will reinvigorate our program of work and help Union County emerge as a regional and state leader. However, your input, involvement, and financial support are critical to our continued momentum and future success.

We invite you to join with us in financially supporting our efforts to ensure our collective prosperity and quality of life. For your consideration, we have developed an Investment Portfolio to better help you understand how your investment will improve our community. Please call us at 937.642.6279 to speak with us about this wonderful opportunity. We assure you that this will be time well spent and will have a direct impact on the future economic vitality of our community. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Eric S. Phillips
Executive Director
Union County Economic Development Partnership

Since February 2001, Mr. Phillips has served as the Executive Director for the Union County Economic Development Partnership and as the Chief Executive Officer of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. He is currently the Executive Director for the Union County Community Improvement Corporation, the statutory economic development arm of the county, which is responsible for business retention and expansion, marketing and promotion of the community, and other economic development programs. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Marysville-Union County Port Authority which was established in 2009. Mr. Phillips oversees the entire Chamber umbrella organization including the Union County Economic Development Partnership, Union County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Marysville Business Association, Plain City Business Association, Richwood Area Business Association, Industrial Parkway Association, Safety Council, Union County Business, Education, and the Workforce Team and the Marysville Uptown revitalization efforts.

Mr. Phillips serves as a Board Member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and as a Board Member and Past President of the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange. From a national perspective, Mr. Phillips currently serves on the board of National Rural Economic Developers Association and also chaired the host committee for the 2010 International Economic Development Council Annual Conference held in Columbus. He earned his B.A. from Muskingum College where he was a four-year letter winner and all-conference player in football. He received a Master in City and Regional Planning as well as a Master of Art in Public Policy and Management from the Ohio State University. He has various additional interests that include golfing, weightlifting, running, hiking, biking and tennis and is an avid reader of history and a collector of coins. His true love in the fall is Ohio State football.

Jason R. Stanford
Development Services Manager
Union County Economic Development Partnership

Mr. Stanford has served as the Development Services Manager for the Union County Economic Development Partnership since 2008. His primary areas of expertise include lead generation, business retention and expansion, downtown revitalization, economic and market analysis, and community outreach/marketing.

He is responsible for the daily coordination and management of Union County’s economic development services and programs, lead generation and response, workforce development initiatives, and the preparation of economic, market, and informational materials. Prior to this position, he served as the Assistant Director of the Belmont County, Ohio Department of Development.

Mr. Stanford has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Affairs/Economic Development from Wright State University and a Certificate of Nonprofit Administration from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance of Kansas City, Missouri. He is a member of the International Economic Development Council, graduate of the Union County and Belmont County Leadership Institutes, and has completed the Ohio Economic Development Course through the Ohio Economic Development Association.

His personal interests include meteorology, architecture, photography, travel, and music.

Chaz Freutel
Manager, Marysville Entrepreneurial Center
Program Manager, Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Union County 

Mr. Freutel is a “business connector” with a strong track record of assisting entrepreneurs in getting connected to the people, products and services needed to succeed. He is very proud to serve as Manager of the Marysville Entrepreneurial Center, commonly known as the “MEC,” created in 2008 to foster grassroots economic development in Union County. In addition to the MEC, Mr. Freutel also serves as Program Manager for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Union County (YEA!). Hosted at the Marysville Early College High School, YEA! is a 30-week class of middle and high school students that will all graduate launching real businesses. 

Mr. Freutel also serves as the Director of the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center, “The DEC,” which supports the creation and development of new technologies, businesses and jobs. He has directed all facility and programming activities for the DEC since its launch in 2009. The DEC boasts over 140 on-site businesses.

Prior to starting his own business, Get-U-Connected, in 2009, Mr. Freutel served as Director Investor Relations for the Columbus Chamber, where he worked closely with economic development leaders in the Columbus Region, working with MODE and other regional economic development partners. He has a passion for developing young leaders, serving as Staff Coach for Ohio Premier “OP” Soccer Club, Director of Campus and Community Ministries for Central Ohio Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and teaches Sunday School to middle school students at Encounter Church.

Annual Reports

We are happy to share our past success with you. Below are our past Annual Reports, which are in PDF format.

2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007


All regularly-scheduled Community Improvement Corporation Board of Trustees meetings will be held at 7:45 AM at the Union County Chamber of Commerce, 227 East Fifth Street, Marysville, unless otherwise noted below.

November 14, 2018
7:45 AM

January 16, 2019
4:00 PM
Location TBD

February 13, 2019
7:45 AM

April 10, 2019
7:45 AM

June 12, 2019
7:45 AM

September 18, 2019
7:45 AM

November 13, 2019
7:45 AM

January 15, 2020
4:00 PM
Location TBD


October 31, 2018
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

January 30, 2019
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

March 27, 2019
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

May 29, 2019
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

September 4, 2019
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

October 30, 2019
Executive Committee
7:45 AM

January 8, 2020
Executive Committee
7:45 AM


All regularly-scheduled Marysville-Union County Port Authority Board of Directors meetings will be held at 8:00 AM at the Union County Chamber of Commerce, 227 East Fifth Street, Marysville, unless otherwise noted below:

January 16, 2019
Board of Directors
8:00 AM

January 17, 2019
Work Session
4:00 PM
Location TBD

May 22, 2019
8:00 AM

October 16, 2019
8:00 AM


Union County Economic Development/CIC
Marysville-Union County Port Authority

227 East Fifth Street
Marysville, Ohio 43040

Ph: 937.642.6279
Fx: 937.644.0422

Marysville Entrepreneurial Center
129 North Main Street
Marysville, Ohio 43040
Ph: 614.989.2429

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