WOOD COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) – From farmland, to a fully-developed utopia. Wood County, Ohio has changed drastically over the years. It’s home to a several big distribution centers, like Home Depot and UPS. It’s home to First Solar, which is also expanding and adding another facility in Lake Township. Rossford just opened an Amazon distribution center, and Troy Township is preparing to build and welcome Peloton’s latest distribution site. The Wood County Economic Commission says infrastructure is to thank. “We’re a great location for distribution because we have that highway infrastructure, and access to markets in a very timely manner,” said Wade Gottschalk, the commission’s executive director. “We also have zoned land. That’s a big deal.”
According to the Economic Development Commission, Wood County is served by America’s longest east-west Interstate highways (80/90), and her longest north-south Interstate (75). Wood County’s virtual metropolitan area contains a population of 18-million within a 2 hour drive radius, with two-thirds of the North American consuming market within a one day truck drive.
“These big facilities are good for the region,” added Gottschalk. “They have a lot of spinoff effect. You add that many jobs at decent wages, you’re going to actually increase incomes in the area, and those incomes then get spent at other stores, restaurants and events.”
So it’s not all about big corporations moving it. Small businesses are also prospering as well. Erin Leidigk owns 7 Little Cupcakes in Perrysburg. Her shop is located right in the heart of new housing development and popular shopping, near Levis Commons. Just over two years ago, she was across town on Route 20. But her business, only 3 years old at the time, had grown too popular for its current spot. “With the growth that’s going out in Perrysburg, we started seeing more clientele coming in, more clientele from the outlying areas moving into the area, and so our business just doubled it seemed,” said Liedigk.
Businesses and officials across Wood County are now looking to the future. The goal: not to sacrifice culture for geographic growth. “We want to bring even more growth,” said Gottschalk. “Population growth is something we’re working on in a regional capacity. We do have a regional coalition we’re working with, through BGSU and the RGP to identify how we can attract a workforce, or grow one that is already here, to meet the needs that we need here for the jobs created. It’s one we hope to have a more regional plan for very shortly.”
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