The recent announcement of GM locating one of its four new Innovation Centers in Roswell was welcomed with great excitement by everyone in the community; but for the Roswell Business Alliance (RBA), it was the accumulation of a year of hard work, networking and relationship building, according to a city release.
The RBA worked as the conduit between the city and the Georgia Department of Economic Development to bring GM to Roswell, say city leaders. The RBA responded to requests from GM and worked with the state to gather quick answers and assemble presentation packages as well as conduct site visits.
RBA Executive Director Steve Stroud said GM locating in Roswell is just the first of many anticipated successes.
"There has been a lot of activity focused on the building and location GM chose in the last five months by other companies expressing interest. GM’s announcement will open doors for other businesses and precipitate interest in the area by not only vendors and support systems for GM, but for other IT companies as well," said Stroud. "There has been a definite increase in inquiries. A major piece we are promoting to these companies, including GM, is Roswell’s Opportunity Zone which offers a great incentive to get other vacant spots occupied."
Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said the RBA has been a great asset to the city’s economic development efforts.
"The Roswell Business Alliance’s success in bringing General Motors and ," Wood said. "The council’s risk in funding the Roswell Business Alliance, with no track record, has been rewarded. With the help of the Roswell Business Alliance, Roswell is becoming known as the best place to do business in Georgia.”
GM’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said the company decided to locate the innovation center in Roswell for the same reasons many residents move here.
"GM chose Roswell for the geographic advantages, the region's talent pool, the quality of the surrounding community and the proximity to an excellent university system, allowing for a high level of recruiting, as well as Roswell being a good place to raise a family," he said.
The GM Innovation Center allows the RBA a chance to re-energize and look to the future. With other prospects looking at other areas in the city, it allows the RBA to take a great selling point as to why Roswell is the place to do business in the metro-area. The center will enhance not only Roswell, but surrounding cities as well. The RBA will continue to meet with Roswell’s bordering city’s economic development departments on a regular basis to allow an open line of communication as well as create an all-encompassing vision for the North Metro Atlanta area.
"The relationships and partnerships made through the process of presenting Roswell to GM is a great example of how a private public partnership can have a huge impact that really pays off," said Stroud. "2013 will be a banner year for the state and definitely Roswell - by continuing to target certain markets including IT, medical, medical IT and distribution/supply-chain.”
In July 2011, Roswell’s Mayor and Council established and funded the RBA as the economic development partner for the city of Roswell, forming a public-private partnership. This partnership allowed for the RBA to better serve prospects looking to open a business, both small and corporate, within the city limits. The private-public partnership allows for more flexibility, open communication and expedited solutions for the business community at large.
The RBA and the City of Roswell partnered with various organizations to assist with GM’s Innovation Center, including the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Department of Labor, the Georgia Chamber, Georgia Power, North Fulton CID and Fulton County, according to the city.