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11/28/2017 6:54:00 PM
$100,000 campaign hopes to bring millennials to Greenfield

Samm Quinn, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

GREENFIELD — Four community organizations have partnered to launch a $100,000 marketing campaign to attract young people to Greenfield.

The city of Greenfield, Greenfield-Central School Corp., Hancock Regional Hospital and NineStar Connect have teamed up to hire a firm to oversee a marketing effort stakeholders hope attracts more people — particularly millennials — to move to the city.

The groups will invest more than $100,000 — with $80,000 being funded by the city — to work with Matchbook Creative of Indianapolis to create a plan for marketing and branding the city and all it offers.

Funding for the project comes from the city’s economic development income tax, which can be used to fund a variety of city expenses. The Greenfield City Council has given preliminary approval for the expense.

Some 6,700 millennials — generally considered people between the ages of 18 and 34 — lived in Greenfield in 2016, accounting for about 30 percent of the total population, Census data show.

City stakeholders want to see that number grow as the city’s population rises. As new industry settles in, creating new jobs, city officials want those employees to call Greenfield home.

Greenfield’s population continues to rise but is somewhat stagnant when compared with other Hancock County communities experiencing unprecedented growth.

For the past year, community stakeholders have met to talk about a marketing effort and search for an agency to take on the work, city councilman Dan Riley told the board of public works and safety.

All the groups involved will benefit if the city grows, said NineStar director of marketing David Spencer. NineStar serves Greenfield customers, so if the city is successful in attracting new residents, the nonprofit utility company will be successful as well, he said.

Greenfield-Central schools superintendent Harold Olin echoed those sentiments, saying a higher population in the city will lead to more students enrolling at the district’s schools, which have room for additional students.

As part of the contract with city officials, Matchbook Creative will work on a city website, create a logo and marketing package, meet with city stakeholders and reach out to the city’s target audience to see what might attract young people to the area.

That work will happen over the next year, beginning in January.

Riley said community leaders want to make Greenfield well-known, a place millenials and Hancock County workers consider among their top choices when looking for someplace to live.

Matchbook Creative has worked with city and county groups before, including Downtown Muncie and the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, company reps recently told city leaders.

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