New businesses are making their way to Belpre

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BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - The City of Belpre has welcomed about 400 jobs in the last ten years, and even though he can’t take credit for those jobs, Mayor Mike Lorentz and Belpre’s Economic Development Committee have worked to bring business into the city.

“We’re working as a team. And when a business comes in and goes to talking about bringing in jobs here or building here, it’s the entire group that has focus on that project,” said Lorentz.

Memorial Health System in Marietta is building a new Strecker Cancer Center in Belpre and members of the economic development committee have also been contacted by other businesses about moving into the area.

“I know that I’ve been contacted from outside sources looking for property here in town and they don’t really or normally disclose what they are building or who they’re looking for property for, but you know, that’s for them. It’s not really for us to decide, it’s for them to let us know and we’ll help them any way we can,” said Bob Rauch, an economic development committee member.

Rauch hopes to attract young professionals to Belpre.

“People talk about, we have no way to retain their youth. Or retain the young folks, there’s no jobs here, maybe we can change that just a little bit. And maybe we become a magnet for some of that young talent, said Rauch.

Mayor Lorentz thinks there’s a couple of reasons for interest in the area.

“Some of the bigger name companies are beginning to look in this area. I think part of it may be the oil and gas boom is not that far from us. And again I think part of it is attitude. When you call here, someone from my office goes and makes sure that what you’re told and what you’re seeing is true,” said Lorentz.

Not only that, but Rauch says that Belpre has low income tax, is right next to the Ohio River, next to a four lane highway and is within 500 miles of three quarters of the population of the United States.