ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THE FOCUS OF PUBLIC OUTREACH SESSION

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The City of Thomasville will launch a three-part public outreach session that is designed to help citizens understand the multiple components that help to build a strong local economy. The first session, in conjunction with the Payroll Development Authority, will kick off this month with “Let’s Discuss…Economic Development: Unraveling the Mystery.” The event will be held on Tuesday, July 30 from 6:00-7:00 pm in Council Chambers at the Thomasville Municipal Building, located at 144 E. Jackson Street.

“The ‘Let’s Discuss…’ series allows the City of Thomasville to discuss complex subjects with our community in an environment that supports open dialog,” said Sherri Nix, City of Thomasville Public Outreach Manager. “Economic Development is one of those terms people hear all the time, but perhaps don’t fully understand. We thought a ‘Let’s Discuss…’ series was the perfect opportunity to foster an in-depth look into this important topic to understand what it means for Thomasville.”

In the first session of the series, Andy Goodwin, City of Thomasville Business Development Manager and Shelly Zorn, Thomasville Payroll Development Director, will discuss the process of attracting and retaining businesses and industries to Thomasville, and the impact it has on the economy of Thomasville and surrounding communities.

“Economic Development is often a mystery to the public but it can be boiled down to two words - job creation,” said Zorn. “Economic development for retail or industrial businesses is all about job creation, and it is a long, complex process. I invite the entire community to attend this “Let’s Discuss…” to learn about and be a part of the process.”

“Economic Development projects can be a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’,” said Goodwin. “Projects can, and often do, take years to develop. When an industry decides to uproot and move to another state, there are many factors to consider, including the millions of dollars that will be spent and the families and jobs affected,” added Goodwin. “The City of Thomasville, in conjunction with the Payroll Development Authority, needs to stay assertive with workforce development, incentive offerings, and the presentation of new industry. It is important that we negotiate with the strongest incentive package from both the state and local level, because often times we are competing with other states that are just as aggressive.”

While the first session of this series will focus on large, industrial customers, later sessions of the Economic Development series will focus on small business, downtown Thomasville, and local tourism. April Norton, City of Thomasville Main Street and Business Development Director, said “There is a quality of life here in Thomasville that is very appealing to those who are making decisions about the relocation of their companies. A strong takeaway as you begin to unravel the mystery of economic development is that there is a formula to growth. Public investment sparks private investment and in return, the outcome fills the empty storefronts and creates job opportunities.”

Additional sessions of the “Let’s Discuss…Economic Development” series will continue on August 27th with “Let’s Discuss…Tourism in Thomasville” and on September 24th with “Let’s Discuss…Why Small Business is a Big Deal.” For more information about the “Let’s Discuss…” series, contact Sherri Nix at 229-227-4154 or visit Thomasville.org.