West Chester insurer receives state tax credit, plans to double workforce

Expansion involves additional 11,000 square feet of space, 29 new jobs, over $3 million addition to annual payroll

WEST CHESTER TWP. — The Ohio Department of Development announced a seven-year, 1.624% Job Creation Tax Credit for Berkley Aspire, an Arizona-based insurance company with plans to bolster its 22-person staff with another 29 full-time hires over the next three years.

JobsOhio announced Berkley Aspire, located at 9075 Centre Pointe Dr., will add 11,000 square feet to its local office during the expansion. West Chester Economic Development Manager Katy Kanelopoulos said the expansion is another good sign for the township, which advocated for the state-sanctioned tax credit.

“Anytime anyone chooses to stay here and also expand, it just boosts that confidence that West Chester is one of the best communities to do business because obviously they’re doing well, or they wouldn’t continue to expand here,” Kanelopoulos said. “It’s basically proof in the pudding when someone expands that what we say is true: That we are the best place to do business.”

Berkley Aspire, one of the many ventures of Fortune 500 company W.R. Berkley Insurance Group, specializes in surplus lines insurance. The company estimates that it will add just over $3 million to its existing $2.4 million annual payroll, with new positions as tax support specialists, underwriters and managers.

The location’s Director of Small Business Kristy James told the Journal-News that the office began with just 10 employees almost four years ago.

“It was a pretty small space because we were still a pretty small company, and we didn’t know how much we could grow, but we’ve grown a ton,” James said. Berkley Aspire will expand its office space this summer to accommodate a projected staff of over 50 employees.

Department of Development spokesperson Dan Bowerman told the Journal-News that the total estimated value of the tax credit is $305,000. An official project scope from the department noted that Ohio was in competition with Arizona and Virginia for the expansion project.

“We support Berkley being here; they’re going to be good partners to us,” Kanelopoulos said.

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