It’s no secret that the Golden Isles are looking to attract more businesses to the area. This is the goal of all stakeholders involved, from development authorities to city and county governments. The problem is that we are not the only region trying to attract new businesses to the region.
When it comes to this kind of competition, you have to stand out from the rest of the pack. It means having the infrastructure and workforce that businesses need to thrive.
The Golden Isles has many infrastructural advantages that work in its favor to attract new business such as our proximity to a major highway, a major port and various airports. Add a few ready-made properties and you have an attractive package for any business looking to expand or relocate.
While these are all good things, sometimes it takes a little more to stand out. This is where our local business community comes in.
Our business community is very close-knit. You can see it in groups like our local chapter of 1 Million Cups, which celebrated its sixth anniversary on Wednesday. The club is designed to bring entrepreneurs together to share ideas and network. The rise of the local club comes at the same time that more and more businesses are investing in downtown Brunswick, providing additional support for these new initiatives.
Support can also come from outside the business sector to help address issues facing businesses, such as island labor issues. The population in the most active age group—those aged 25 to 54—has remained stable over the past 15 years.
This is a problem that Coastal Pines Technical College and others are trying to solve. The school is planning an expansion that will double the college’s classroom and lab space. This will help the college meet the training needs of the local workforce.
To that end, Coastal Pines also asks local businesses what their needs are so the college can evaluate the programs it offers. The community needs assessment asks business owners a variety of questions to get an idea of their current and future needs and covers a variety of areas. The survey is available at ies-pub.coastalpines.edu/surveys/2022_business_and_industry_survey_instrument.cfm.
We encourage all companies to respond so that the college can gain an advantage when it comes to training new workers. If all of us – business leaders, education officials, government leaders and others – pull in the same direction, it will help attract more business to the islands.