By MARK TODD



Staff Writer

mtodd@starbeacon.com



City leaders in Conneaut will toast - - literally - - the economic backbone of the community at an appreciation breakfast Tuesday morning at the Conneaut Human Resource Center.

The first-of-its-kind event gives city administrators and council members the opportunity to applaud industrialists, retailers and others who choose to do business in Conneaut.

"We want to say a big thank-you to the people who are here," said Councilman-at-Large Chris Castrilla, chairman of council's economic development committee.

More than 250 invitations have been returned, Castrilla said.

The catered event has been in the planning stages for weeks. It comes on the heels of a breakfast held last fall to lure companies to the city.

While chewing on eggs and other breakfast goodies, guests will hear updates on city projects. Representatives from city and council agencies of interest to business - - including Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce, 503 Corporation and Small Business Administration - - will explain their services.

"There are a lot of resources available to (businesses)," Castrilla said.

Guests will also have the opportunity to mingle with city officials, something Castrilla said he is anticipating.

"I want to meet with our business leaders," he said. "I want to hear their concerns and questions."

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