Economy Update – November 2016

Economy Update – November 2016
Developer’s Day in Fayette County

Attracting business relocations and expansions to your community is tough work. With more than 15,000 communities in the U.S. alone vying for about 1,500 to 2,000 projects a year, the competition is fierce.  The industry is also driven more and more by site selection consultants. These companies are firms that specialize in working with businesses to find the best location. They identify what is important to the company and then seek out a community that is a good match. They look at workforce availability and cost and available buildings or greenfields that are ready to go. They look at the quality of the local school systems, housing stock and prices as well as what there is to do in the community. Thanks to the web and social media, site selector can assess if a community is welcoming to new business and people or if the culture is anti-business or close-minded. Site selection consultants typically go to state project managers first so it is critical that local communities have strong relationships with the Department of Economic Development, regional partners and Georgia utility companies.

A common marketing practice in economic development is to host a “developers’ day.” The local economic development entity will invite state and regional economic development partners along with site selection consultants that specialize in helping companies in target industry sectors to their community. The day features tours of available sites, presentations about the area and opportunities to connect with local business leaders.
The Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) hosted Developers’ Day on November 1 to show off Fayette County. The visit included a visit to a site in Tyrone, a stop at Pinewood Studios and at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground. The tour also included drive-by visits to a half-dozen sites in the three larger cities. “FCDA’s staff has worked hard to find available sites and to craft the great story of Fayette County,” stated Darryl Hicks, FCDA chair.  “We are looking forward to the opportunity to sell our community to this important target group and hope to reap the reward of more leads and more announcements in the coming years.”