South Fulton Continues to Seek Input from Businesses on Economic Development

With the transition from Fulton County in its rearview mirror, the city of South Fulton is moving full speed ahead with other strategic priorities, including economic development. In partnership with BAE Urban Economics, the city is developing an economic development strategic plan to solidify its vision and plans for future.

A campaign to solicit feedback from residents and the business community was launched in the summer to ensure all stakeholders’ ideas and interests are considered. Business owners in the area, along with managers, directors and other senior level executives, have until November 30 to share their feedback with the city via an online survey. The survey captures information about the business, challenges they currently face, future business goals and their perspective on doing business in the city.

“We want to learn from business leaders just what their vision is for economic growth in the city of South Fulton,” said Economic Development Director Christopher Pike. “We will use this valuable information to drive policy and create programs that support local business.”

South Fulton is currently home to approximately 1,900 businesses and poised for commercial development. The city was recently featured in Business View magazine where City Manager Odie Donald, II positioned it as Georgia’s largest economic development opportunity.

“We’ve launched Destination South Fulton, our economic development arm, that works hand in hand with the recently implemented South Fulton Development Authority,” he reported to the publication. “Our elected officials have already started taking economic development action on the legislative side. The city recently increased the hotel/motel tax collection rate to eight percent. Changing that rate projects to approximately $450,000 annually, which assists our tourism, business retention and attraction efforts through the newly launched Convention & Visitors Bureau, tremendously.”

Residents are also playing a role in moving the city forward on the economic development front. Since the city was formed, South Fulton voters have green lit a Freeport tax exemption and the creation of tax allocation districts (TAD) in the city. Both are hoped to spur growth.

A draft of South Fulton’s economic development strategic plan is scheduled for delivery to the city council in January. Donald estimates that by February, the city will be gathering feedback on a locations for a downtown district and city center.

Photo: Christopher Pike, economic development director and Mary Burkholder, vice president of BAE Urban Economics, gather feedback from at the city’s first Business Showcase at the South Fulton Tennis Center.