CCPA Partners with YSU to Market County Businesses

LEETONIA, Ohio – The Columbiana County Port Authority has undertaken a new partnership with Youngstown State University’s geography department to create an interactive virtual map to market businesses along the Ohio River.

“This is another step in helping us market the Ohio River and bring business attraction to the area,” said Penny Traina, executive director of the Port Authority, who announced the partnership at the Port Authority’s meeting Monday.

Jeff Mascarella, an intern student, is in the beginning stages of collecting data on businesses located on the Ohio River in Columbiana County and will eventually launch an interactive map with the data on the agency’s website.

“We have been able to contact all the businesses along the Ohio River in Columbiana County to get their permission to showcase their business,” Traina said.

A drop-down menu on the website will provide each company’s name, address, phone number, email contact and information on its dock activity, access to the river and the services and storage it provides.

The Port Authority has also partnered with interns and staff from YSU’s Small Business Development Center to help develop an economic development report card for Columbiana County by collecting data on the county’s economic investment activity, including demographics, business retention, and expansion and attraction.

“We need to market Columbiana County and we can’t market it if we don’t know what we have,” Traina said. “It’s a great start.”

Once the report card is complete, Traina would like to update it every year to have a better understanding of what direction the county is moving in.

Some of the information that will be reported includes data on how many people each industry in the county employs, the number of residents who live and work in the county and statistics on intermodal traffic flow.

“The partnership with Youngstown State has been a very good, collaborative effort,” she said.

At the meeting, Traina announced that the Port Authority is in the process of forming the Northern Ohio River Business Association, also known as Norba.

Norba will consist of a partnership between Columbiana, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties that will help market the river.

The purpose of Norba is to engage in river commerce on and along the Ohio River from mile 41 to mile 317, Traina said.

In other matters, the board of the Columbiana County Port Authority approved a gas and oil lease of $33,659.15 with Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. for 39.599 acres, which the Port Authority owns the mineral rights to.

The board also approved the termination of a land contract for the Ferro building at 2000 Harvey Ave. in East Liverpool with Larry Petrozzi of Pyramid Real Estate Co. without recourse against one another.

For the same property the board approved the sale of it to Ohio River Corridor.

The Port Authority purchased the building in 2001 for $240,000 and sold it for $210,000.

“It’s been an empty building for many years,” Traina said. “I don’t know what the potential buyer is looking at doing, but certainly anything’s better than an empty space.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.