What do the words “improve,” “foster” and “increase” have in common?

They each play a role in the new vision for Douglas County’s renewed economic development efforts. They want to improve their competitive advantage, foster relationships with existing companies and increase their marketing efforts.

As a project manager for the state and a former local economic developer, this is such a positive thing!  To take a look within to see the good, the bad and the indifferent presents many opportunities and entrepreneurial thinking, as leaders either carve new paths or finally go down the ones left on the strategy shelf years before!

Douglas just hired a new economic developer, Chris Pumphrey, who is actually a former GDEcD project manager…so he gets it.  He knows, as we do, that taking care of existing business is just as critical as recruiting new and diverse business.

And to all the local economic developers reading this, how important is it that you promote your community?  You may have all of these wonderful assets, both traditional and non-traditional, but what good are they if you don’t keep track of them? What good are they if you don’t market your inventory to the people who matter to your economic health? It’s like being at a football game – if a fabulous game is played on the gridiron but there is no score on the board, who won?  Was the game really played?  What’s the diff’?

Chris and his leadership understand – economic development is so broad, so they’ve targeted certain efforts to make things happen.  They are looking at resources, partners, programs and any other help available to them to bring jobs and economic vitality to Douglas County.

This … is very cool.

Mary Ellen McClanahan

Director, Entrepreneur & Small Business Development

Project Manager, Existing Industry/Metro Atlanta

Contact GDEcD

For more information on Georgia’s public-private business partnerships, contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development at 404.962.4000.

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