The Village of Hicksville was named after a savvy businessman. Village officials are tapping into that legacy to offer innovative incentives and solutions to businesses and industries looking to grow or relocate to the village’s industrial park.
Hicksville offers incentives such as free land for job creation, tax credits, loans and more. Partnering with other entities, including the Defiance County Economic Development Office, workforce training programs also are offered.
“The community is served by a dedicated workforce that draws from nearby population centers,” said Hicksville Mayor Ron Jones. “Hicksville is a business-friendly community and is ready to welcome new manufacturing advanced materials distribution and food processing firms.”
The Hicksville Industrial Park is at 600 Industrial Drive. When it was purchased more than 20 years ago, a vision began. Industrial Drive recently was extended to State Route 49 to assist with business logistics. Jones said that the extension is a “big asset for our industrial truckers to get through to a state route before they have to go through town.”
The land for jobs initiative helps encourage new businesses as well as expansion. The initiative offers five-acre lots if an industry provides at least 20 new full-time jobs. Several companies have used the program so far.
It’s interesting to note that offering land is how Hicksville got started. Named after Henry W. Hicks of New York City, the land the village is located on was purchased by his company. Hicks charged his agents to find an area with plenty of timber and land holdings for settlers. He later sent an agent, Alfred Edgerton, to oversee his affairs in the region, which included building mills and adding to the layout of the village. In addition to land interests, Hicks also was part of Samuel Hicks and Sons shipping; on the board of directors of Morris Canal and Banking Company and New York Life Insurance; held shares in the City Bank of Buffalo; and had other business interests.
Land still attracts people and businesses to Hicksville.“In the industrial park itself, the (village) has three five-acre plots available at this time (through the land for jobs initiative),” Jones said. “But the road extending out to State Route 49, which is privately-owned, (offers) 65 acres available for sale.
Hicksville also has several other incentives for businesses including its job creation tax credit program.
“The program grants tax credits against local income taxes to companies that create at least $200,000 in new annual payroll or provide at least 10 new qualifying jobs,” Jones said.
There also are enterprise zone tax credits, providing up to 100 percent real property tax abatements; tax increment financing and a revolving loan program.
These programs and others have helped businesses in the industrial park build, grow, and flourish. Two such businesses are APT Manufacturing and ARC Solutions. APT, which has a state-of-the-art robotic system, has more than 100 employees, while ARC Solutions continues to grow yearly.
“Both companies are big contributors to our community,” Jones said.
Hicksville also offers a great school system, which has benefited businesses at the industrial park in innovative ways. APT has a training program with the school to help train students to join its workforce. The Community Improvement Corporation of Defiance County has worked with several other industries and businesses to model a program similar to APT’s to meet workforce demands.
Hicksville’s location makes it not only perfect for businesses, but for workers as well. The village is within 150 miles from Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis and Toledo.
The cost of living is also much lower than the bigger cities. “Our income tax rate is only 1 percent,” said Jones. The community of Hicksville also offers a lot more to prospective businesses and industries looking to move into the industrial park.
“Hicksville is home to an array of established businesses and civic organizations,” Jones said. “Hicksville has a great downtown shopping area, also the school system (that) is one of the top in the state. We have a great park system, hospital, library, and many more great attractions. It is a small-town atmosphere only 20 minutes away from Fort Wayne, Indiana.”
To learn more about Hicksville’s industrial park, contact Jones at 419-542-6161 or Erika Willitzer at the Defiance County Economic Development Office at Erika@DefianceCountyED.com