Economic development mid-year report reveals results
by Matt Shinall
Jul 19, 2012 | 1438 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While some companies choose to go public with investments and expansions, others will choose to remain private about improvement projects and corporate plans.

A mid-year project report from Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon presented Wednesday before the Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority shows more projects landing in Bartow than have been publicly announced.

Articles in The Daily Tribune News have highlighted new industry, including the proposed bio-fuel transfer station announced earlier this year and capital investments like those of Aquafil USA adding more than 1,500 solar panels atop their Cartersville facility, but the mid-year department report revealed a total of nine projects have been confirmed or completed this year.

"Out of the projects that we have worked [this year], nine have resulted in jobs and capital investment -- a total of 87 jobs and $44 million in capital investment collectively," Lemmon said. "I want you to know we're having results, but they may choose not to do a press release. Of those nine projects I would consider won, not necessarily closed by the way, we still have work to do in most cases -- but six of those are existing industries and three are new companies. Of the three new companies, one is an existing company planning a whole new venture next door ... and then the third company is a brand new startup, new construction and we're excited about that."

The $44 million in capital investments so far this year has brought the total investment since data was first collected in 2004 to more than $2.9 billion. Currently, there are more than 20 other projects in some stage of activity within Bartow. With a number of projects in the works, Lemmon looks forward to breaking the $3 billion mark before the end of the year.

"We're one key project away from the $3 billion mark," Lemmon said. "By the end of the year, we hope these job numbers and investment numbers are much higher."

Development authorities to send delegates to Japan

The Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority approved Wednesday a motion to send a delegate to the Southeast U.S./Japan annual meeting in Tokyo.

The September economic development conference will put state governors and industry leaders in the same room with Japanese business leaders and project managers.

The Development Authority of Bartow County approved earlier this year to also send at least one delegate.

"Tokyo was supposed to host this last year and obviously they didn't get to with the disaster that happened. So this is a rebuild year for them and they are so proud to host it," Lemmon said "It has been announced recently that a lot of the project flow to the state of Georgia is anticipated to come from Germany and Japan for various reasons. Caterpillar is the first of, I think, several big announcements that could come out of that country and we want to continue our strong partnership between our state and that country, but frankly, I want our community to be a part of that delegation of maybe 20 or 30 people from the state of Georgia."

A primary goal of the trip would be to visit as many of the seven Japanese businesses with facilities in Bartow as possible. The delegates chosen will also join Gov. Nathan Deal and the rest of the Georgia delegation at special events with site selection companies and project managers from throughout Japan.