Coweta in Focus

Existing company success critical

by Greg Wright, President, Coweta County Development Authority

Over 70 percent of new job growth in a community comes from existing companies succeeding and expanding. That is why our community places such a high priority on serving the needs of the existing companies.

Our focus through the Coweta County Development Authority is to help our existing industries. An important strategy that the leadership of the Development Authority has promoted for many years is an industry visitation program. Working with many of our economic development partners, the goal of the visitation program is two-fold.

First, should a company be considering an expansion project, our local team wants to help. Whether it is information about local or state incentive programs, financing assistance through Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs), hiring assistance, workforce development training, permitting, or any other issue that might arise, we have the ability to bring in a network of resource partners to help.

Second, if a company is facing an issue that is hurting its operations or could impact the survival of the company, we also want to know and help. Not every company is willing to meet or is willing to open up about the issues facing their company, but, for those that do, help is available.

Here are just a few examples:

• Our team has helped companies get connected with Central Educational Center, West Georgia Technical College, and the Department of Labor to help find and retain qualified skilled employees.

• We have assisted companies with expedited permitting to help them get started on an expansion project sooner.

• We have helped connect a new company with potential suppliers in the area.

• A local company needed help in understanding how a recently passed bill in Congress might impact their business; and,

• A company was interested in expanding their business overseas, but they didn't know who to call. We did.

The goal of the program is to help companies grow and succeed in Coweta County. Since the majority of new job growth comes from these existing industries, it is in our best interests to dedicate the time and resources necessary to meet their important needs.

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