GREENFIELD — The Hancock Economic Development Council is getting a new web-site thanks to a grant from Duke Energy.
The $15,000 grant will help launch the website in an attempt to attract new businesses to Hancock County and help existing businesses grow. It will fund new website content, mapping, analytics and integration with mobile devices and social media.
Those parts of a website are essential in economic development, said Hancock Economic Development executive director Skip Kuker.
“The website is the window to our world,” Kuker said. “Site selection is site elimination. If you can’t present the data they need, you’re going to be eliminated.”
Whether a company looking to locate in Hancock County is headquartered in Beijing or Chicago, representatives will first visit the county’s economic development website, he said. If they can’t find the information they need, they’ll move on, and Hancock County will be a passing thought, he added.
The website was last updated three years ago, and without the grant from Duke the economic development council wouldn’t be able to roll out the new website.
“With support like this, we can better reach and attract businesses that might one day call Hancock County home,” Kuker said. “We can also use the site to help our existing businesses and tell our county’s story.”
Economic development websites can be expensive because of the information loaded onto them, which is accessed by companies worldwide, Kuker said.
In 2014, the council received more than 100 requests from companies for information about sites available for development in Hancock County.
It will take a few months for the website to be ready. Duke Energy is happy to help in making the new website a reality, said Cathy Wenning, Duke Energy communication relations manager.
“We have a large stake in Indiana, and economic development is both a business principle and a passion for us,” she said. “Strong, vibrant communities do not happen by accident. They are the result of hard work and key partnerships such as this.”
Many cities across the world compete for projects to locate in their communities, Kuker said, and the grant will help fund a website that he hopes will give Hancock County a new edge.
“It’s all in the marketing,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing. We’re marketing Hancock County.”
The Hancock Economic Development Council website is hancockedc.com/.