Indiana Michigan Power sparks growth through global pandemic.
Virtual site visits, drone footage and an updated website – these are just a few of the changes Indiana Michigan Power made when the company had to pivot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had to learn how to use new tools to continue our economic development work and market the area,” says Ashley Savieo, the region’s director of economic development for American Electric Power, one of the nation’s largest electricity producers. “We pivoted from going out to meet people in person to doing it all online.”
Indiana Michigan Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, is dedicated to being a reliable resource for consumers and commerce in the East Central Indiana region.
And regardless of challenges like those associated with the pandemic, I&M has remained committed to its future and current customers through innovation and flexibility.
Working with the Grant County Economic Growth Council, I&M funded a strategy that offered business investors virtual site visits with drone footage of potential business properties.
I&M also provided an economic impact grant that funded the launch of the Forge Your Path talent attraction website (forgeeci.com) in August of 2020. The website offers both the region’s newcomers and its current residents a place to access personal and professional resources, Savieo says.
In addition, I&M added a regional business solution center to its website to help current customers navigate federal programs and assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Call center employees were trained to assist customers with accessing debt relief programs, paycheck protection programs and state-level programs.
“Our call center professionals are normally there to troubleshoot electric problems, but they completely stepped up the service we offered to our customers,” Savieo says, adding that I&M also helped regional manufacturing companies develop pandemic response opportunities and product lines to maintain or even grow their businesses.
“We were proactive with outreach to our customers to see how their businesses were doing, offering repayment plans and restructuring their bills so that we could keep the lights on.”
Learn more about Indiana Michigan Power.