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Business & Economic Development


DeKalb County remains a highly marketable destination in northeastern Indiana, featuring a strategic location, excellent transportation networks, low costs of doing business, a range of state incentives and programs, as well as a high quality of life for employees and employers.

The area’s business and industrial base is quite diversified, housing a mix of automotive suppliers, distribution centers and manufacturers specializing in bio-medics, electronics, aluminum and iron castings, metal fabrication, agricultural chemical and seed and many others. This collection continues to expand as new and differing businesses and industries discover the benefits of doing business in DeKalb County

According to Ken McCrory, director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, the county has seen a jump in the local economy over the last year. He stated that notable growth and expansion has been seen within the advanced manufacturing and distribution industries, with businesses sprouting up in the communities of Ashley, Butler, Auburn and Garrett. Among the recent new additions to DeKalb County are businesses including Family Dollar, K-Co Pac, Western Power Sports and Scot Industries. Multi Matic, Autoline, Electric Motors and Specialties, Group Dekko, Therma Tru, Team Quality Services and TI Automotive are a few existing businesses that have expanded since 2010.

“Industry has the ability to operate easily in DeKalb County because of its ‘small-town’ amenities, yet have ready access to Fort Wayne and its attributes,” said McCrory. “They have the best of both worlds.”

In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, the county features available land with relatively flat terrain and stable soils, which is a major advantage for new construction. The area is also a designated HUBZone (a nationwide program that “helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities”) and hopes to become a general foreign trade zone in the near future.

“DeKalb County officials, civic leaders and our partners strive to have available product that, in the cases of our success stories, fulfill the industrial needs required to compete in a global market,” said McCrory.

This supportive environment is yet another leading reason businesses turn toward DeKalb County as an ideal place to relocate and/or expand. Local municipalities, the state of Indiana and organizations such as the DeKalb Chamber Partnership, DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, Northeast Indiana Regional Chamber, JobWorks and the DeKalb County Visitors Bureau – among others – come together on a regular basis to strengthen and enrich the regional business sector.

The DeKalb Chamber Partnership – a collaboration between the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, the Butler Chamber of Commerce and the Ashley-Hudson Chamber of Commerce – is a major resource for businesses in the area. The three chambers came together in July 2010, combining their efforts to better serve the DeKalb County community and a membership consisting of more than 300 countywide businesses and individuals. The organization embraces its mission, “to promote, extend and foster the retail, industrial, professional, agricultural, service, civic and cultural growth of DeKalb County and its trade area,” by offering a wide range of business-oriented services and programming. Among its benefits are a wide variety of networking events, insurance discounts, legislative advocacy, referral services, educational seminars and training, advertising opportunities and much more.

For more information, visit the DeKalb Chamber Partnership’s website, call 260-925-2100 or visit the office at 208 S. Jackson Street in Auburn.

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