Valdosta Seeks Economic Developer

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Growing communities are always looking for an edge when attracting new jobs. The city of Valdosta is hoping that an investment in a new economic development coordinator will pay dividends with new jobs.

Retail stores play an important part to the economy of Valdosta. With a growing population, more retail chains are looking to open up shop here, and that's why the Valdosta city government will soon hire an economic development coordinator.

Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, says, "There's a reason for us making this investment, because the return helps grow our tax digest, which allows us to continue to have lower property taxes and things like that, so it’s in our best interest to grow the retail economy."

During the past 12 months, the Colonial Mall Valdosta announced a major expansion featuring several new stores, and from what developers are hearing, more is on the way for the Azalea City.

Some taxpayers may see this new position as an unnecessary expense for their local government, but Valdosta city officials say it’s really needed to help work in conjunction with other local groups like the Industrial Authority and the Chamber of Commerce to help bring more new jobs and businesses to our area.

Hanson adds, "What we want to do is work with the Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Authority, Downtown Development Authority. We will become a member of the team and we're trying to fill a niche that right now is void."

If successful, Valdosta could see millions in new construction projects and hundreds of new jobs. Valdosta's new economic development coordinator should be hired and on the job by the end of January.