DeKalb’s Economic Development Strategic Plan was created to provide a proactive, strategic approach to economic development that leverages the County’s assets and opportunities to attract new development projects and promote job creation. The plan is organized into three strategic objectives:
- Improve Business Climate: The County aims to increase business attraction and retention, facilitate entrepreneurship and small business development, and create an incubator or accelerator that would support innovation and strengthen target industry clusters. The recommended action plan for accomplishing these objectives includes improvement of the County’s marketing, branding, and communication, finalizing the implementation of the development services overhaul, and adoption of a local funding source to enable investment in infrastructure.
- Revitalize Commercial Corridors and employment centers: In order to revitalize and diversify currently underutilized areas, recommendations for action include securing appropriate zoning, creating incentives for redevelopment, and creating public/private partnerships.
- Enhance Quality of Place: Through development of cultural identity, addressing crime, and improving aesthetics of major corridors, the County can complement a business-friendly atmosphere and strong commercial centers by being a great place to live, work, and play.
As part of the strategic planning process, the business community and residents were engaged to ascertain long-term goals, opinions on the County’s greatest assets and weaknesses, and how success should be measured. The plan was informed by feedback from over 1,300 residents and 100 businesses.
The Economic Development Strategic Plan consists of three specific deliverables:
- Market Assessment: Analyzes the current business climate, workforce, housing, infrastructure, and quality of life in DeKalb County.
- Target Industry and Business Case Analysis: Identifies existing industry clusters and recommends industries to target with incentives and marketing based on local assets and national growth trends.
- Strategic Recommendations Report: Informed by the Market Assessment and Target Industry Analysis, the Recommendations Report provides a roadmap with specific recommendations and best practices needed to advance economic growth and job creation. Implementation timelines of strategic recommendations range from short term (under five years) to long term (20 to 40 years).