Northeast Ohio Company Shows CNN Local Economy Is Alive and Thriving

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Who needs Silicon Valley? Canton, home to The Karcher Group, a national leader in Search Marketing, is proof that the New Economy is alive and thriving in Northeast Ohio

The Karcher Group thinks plenty of good things are happening in Northeast Ohio’s economy. In fact, the company felt so strongly about it that the employees launched a new Web site ( to showcase local businesses that are thriving. Then, they shared the good news with CNN.

Two weeks ago, a CNN producer for Paula Zahn NOW contacted the Karcher Group and said that they were interested in highlighting the growth in Canton, Ohio, as a follow-up to a segment aired during the election. Pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the positive growth in our area, as well as represent Northeast Ohio to the rest of the country, The Karcher Group was quick to invite CNN for a visit.

Rich Craig, North Canton resident and partner in Jackson-Belden’s 415 Group thinks the piece showed both negatives and positives.

"It’s nice to see a more moderate view of Stark County in the national spotlight for a change,” says Craig. “A fair representation shows the good and the bad, not just what makes better news that day."

Another owner of a local growing business, Karen Barnard (FastSigns) adds, “I was happy to see Canton presented in a positive light.”

The Karcher Group feels the same way.

“Although the segment still presented many of the negatives, we were glad to see CNN made an effort to present some of the positive things that are happening here,” says Geoff Karcher, president of The Karcher Group. “It’s not all bad news – we see local companies every day that are doing very well.”

In fact, The Karcher Group is the perfect example.

A tiny piece of the “New Economy,” the company has gained a national audience due to its expertise in Web development, Web marketing and Web hosting. Recognized as an industry leader in Search Marketing, the company’s earned such a good reputation that businesses from all over the world are requesting its help.

Needless to say, business is going well – and helping to boost the local economy. In fact:

  • Since 2001, The Karcher Group has averaged 40 percent sales growth per year;
  • In the last two years, the company has created 15 new jobs, seven of which were added in 2004;
  • During the last 18 months, the company has generated business from several Fortune 100 and 500 clients;
  • The company received the 2004 Jackson-Belden Chamber’s Best Small Business of the Year award;
  • Employees are being asked to speak at international and national industry conferences, earning awards and being published in well-known trade publications.

According to the Paula Zahn NOW show, small businesses like The Karcher Group now employ half of Ohio's work force and account for 80 percent of new jobs in the state.

One of those is NuRex Manufacturing in Akron, Ohio. Started by Bob Gay after he lost his manufacturing job 12 years ago, NuRex, designs, manufactures, distributes and services original and unique products for antique Fords. On average, the company has grown ten percent each year.

“I watched the CNN Special regarding jobs in this area,” adds Gay. “Even though it did not feel that way at the time, losing my factory job was the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel strongly about personally taking responsibility for myself and becoming non-reliant on old economy jobs.”

The NEO Growth Watch Web site showcases other local companies like these that are doing well, such as Grass Master Inc. and Media Resources Ltd. If you would like to support the company’s effort to showcase the area’s good news, contact Geoff Karcher at

The Karcher Group is an industry leader in high-end Web development, marketing and hosting services, and offers advanced search engine marketing strategies to Web site owners and managers. A full-service agency located in Canton, Ohio, The Karcher Group combines design, talent and technology with extraordinary customer service. For more information, call 1-800-310-0317 or visit


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Melanie Broemsen