South Georgia Insider

A Regional Approach to Economic Growth

November 23, 2020 Thressea H. Boyd, Host Season 1 Episode 3
South Georgia Insider
A Regional Approach to Economic Growth
Show Notes

In this episode, we sit down with Andrea Schruijer, executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority and chair for Locate South Georgia.

Even with COVID-19, some tremendous economic development projects are happening across Georgia, including multiple industry announcements in South Georgia. 

For the seventh consecutive year, Georgia has been recognized as the “Top State for Doing Business” by Area Development, an executive publication that weighed 13 different factors to make this determination.  

Schruijer explains Locate South Georgia’s regional approach to economic development. Representing 20 counties, Locate South Georgia markets the region to site selectors and works to keep local, state, and federal legislators informed about the region's economic needs.

“What are some of the opportunities we have here in South Georgia, and also what are some of our obstacles for growth. Having a unified message from Locate South Georgia to those leaders in the legislators has been very helpful,” says Schruijer.

What You’ll Discover in this Episode

Locate South Georgia

  • Last year 79 percent of the Georgia Department Economic of Development projects were outside the metro-Atlanta area
  • COVID-19 created a more cohesive approach for regional marketing 
  • Importance of tourism in the overall economic development efforts
  • Working together to tell a bigger and better story
  • Creating an inventory of tourism/leisure activities
  • Economic development is more than jobs and capital investment, it’s also about tourism “getting people to stay and spend their dollar”
  • Telling South Georgia’s story: “When we all work together, we have a bigger and better story that we can tell.” 

In closing, Schruijer says,  “Economic development has changed to what communities can do to encourage people and businesses to want to risk spending their capital in your community. It’s not just from a business perspective but also from an individual perspective. Creating an environment for people to want to spend their money in your area.” 

Join us next time as we continue to highlight why South Georgia is a great place to live, work, and play.

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