MILLEDGEVILLE — By the time an industrial site consultant reaches Milledgeville, the community has already survived an in-depth vetting process. Matt Poyner, executive director of The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC), has named Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas as some of the top states looking at Baldwin County. “That’s where the majority of these major site consultants work,” he said. “It lends me to think we are doing something right because our activity has increased from some of these major U.S. firms, as well as international locations.”
Locally-based Goebel Media Group started web development upgrades in summer 2012 shortly after Poyner became the executive director. According to Poyner, “It took four or five months to get it up and running and the site is top-notch.” Recent review of the site by a marketing representative evaluated it as standing tall among similar sites. “It is important to know that industry professionals identify our site as providing current, relevant data to site visitors,” he said.
For prospective companies utilizing online resources, the Internet can be a discouraging or advantageous primary investigative tool. The DAMBC puts considerable time and effort into the website as a tool to showcase the attributes of Milledgeville to business and industry. Web analytics from developmilledgeville.com show a 62 percent page view increase over first quarter 2013 numbers. The DAMBC can use web analytic information to tailor recruiting for specific national and international firms.
The development authority’s project load has increased dramatically. The state economic development connections are taking notice of Milledgeville’s potential, sending target manufacturing, aerospace, logistics, shared services and high water user companies to the community by way a Request for Information (RFI). Executive Director Poyner also points out, “By the time we are notified of a project, our community has been vetted multiple times through a process matching sites to project specifications. When we get an RFI, we’re one of the final candidates remaining of about 100 communities, or more, initially considered. That’s why it is important to have a good site with relevant information that encourages increased traffic and length of time on our site. I’m proud of where we are.”
Milledgeville-Baldwin County served as a host community March 18 for the annual International VIP tour coordinated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This was the first time in 29 years that Milledgeville made the tour. The hospitality and energetic community blew away 33 consulates representing countries in Europe, Asia, Canada, Africa and Mexico. “People getting their feet in Milledgeville is what we need,” Poyner said. “That’s starting to take off for us and we are in the conversation.” Recent Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP) surveys showed current industries planned expansions and felt positive about Baldwin County operations. “It’s comprehensive service from start to finish. We want to provide the tools and support businesses need to grow and achieve success.” Poyner said.
Poyner urges the community to stay tuned for an upcoming uniquely innovative website upgrade.