LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Port Authority has been granted $478,000 from the Economic Development Administration. It’ll be used for a program they’re starting called the Economic Recovery Specialist Program.
The port authority applied for the grant last November and it’s good for three years. The plan is to use it to get economic specialists out in the county talking to businesses about how the port authority can help them following a tough year.
“We’re actually going to have boots on the ground,” said Penny Traina, CEO and executive director of the port authority. “We’re going to have people out in these businesses, whether it’s retail, industrial, any type of company. We’re going to be out there helping the entrepreneurs, which sometimes, they get left out.”
Traina said they’ll be collecting needs from businesses for expansion and retention. Then, they’ll put together a plan to assist however possible.
The goal is to continue the program after the three years are up so that they can continue economic development in the county and region.
“There will be a lot of reporting processes that me and my team will have to collect and as we put together and implement the program. Each step of the way, we’ll do drawdowns from the federal government, and that’s how the reimbursement cost will go through,” Traina said.
Traina added that collaboration is a big part of what they do and that they have great partners. She said they look forward to working with everyone in the future.
“The port authority also will have about a $120,000 match in this program. As well as we’ve worked closely with the mayor of East Liverpool and the CIC Program there and they put in about $7,500 as well,” Traina said.