MVEDC Kicks Off Branding and Marketing Campaign

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning Valley Economic Develop Corporation (MVEDC) kicked off Phase I of a new branding and marketing campaign at its annual Lenders Breakfast at Squaw Creek Country Club March 13.

“We help local businesses many ways,” said Michael Conway, Executive Director of MVEDC, “from selling land or leasing space in our industrial parks to helping them to do business with the government; from helping in starting their business as a minority or disadvantaged individual to providing rail service to firms who ship via rail.

“But our best offering is our loan services. It’s 75% of our work, yet not many business owners would ever think of coming to us to get help getting a loan. Most people don’t connect MVEDC with loans for businesses.”
This year, MVEDC decided to change the way people look at MVEDC and make sure they know it is the place to go to get help getting a loan. With the help of Boardman-based Farris Marketing, MVEDC created and launched a new marketing and branding campaign that included the following components:
  • A new tag line that repositions MVEDC as “The Growth People”
  • MVEDC’s loan services were branded as “The Grow Biz Fund.”
  • A new user-friendly website was developed for MVEDC (www.MVEDC.com).
  • A micro-marketing website was developed for loan services (www.GrowBizFund.com).
  • Advertising banners on local news websites to send prospects the websites.
  • Loan prospects are prompted to use the “Quick Loan Qualifier” — a special feature built into the GrowBizFund.com website.

George Farris, CEO of Farris Marketing, said “MVEDC does important work. It’s a valuable resource for the Valley and for businesses. It’s important to make sure businesses know this resource is available to them and to make their services easy to access.”

MVEDC arranges business loans for building and expansion, renovations, equipment and machinery, real estate and working capital. For most loans it offers, MVEDC partners with local banks and lenders. The lender puts up 50% of the loan, MVEDC puts up 40% and the borrower needs 10%.

“Our local banks are our key partners,” says Conway. “Without the participation of our lending institutions, most of our financing projects would not happen. The new website and the new brand provides a dynamic access portal for the business community to engage MVEDC and to further engage our partner banks in the financing of their projects. In the end, we all win — businesses grow and jobs are created,” Conway explains.

MVEDC was established in 1979 and now serves nine counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania including Ashtabula, Beaver, Columbiana, Geauga, Lawrence, Mahoning, Mercer, Portage and Trumbull. Additionally, certain MVEDC loan programs may be used throughout the State of Ohio.