AngelouEconomics, an economic development consulting firm, was tapped by the Savannah Economic Development Authority in mid-2018 to partner and to develop a Competitive Positioning, Target Industry Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan - or as we call it - Propel Savannah. For more information on the plan, visit here.
This isn’t the first time that SEDA has undertaken such an effort. In 2011, SEDA partnered with SRI International on a similar study. For example, a portion of that study identified entertainment production as a potential industry of growth. SEDA convened a committee of local industry experts who suggested several ways SEDA could be proactive in developing a sustainable film and television industry in the region. SEDA, along with the City of Savannah, Chatham County and others then developed and implemented a strategic plan to grow the entertainment production industry which in 2018 had an economic impact of $254 million and increase of 561 percent since 2014.
Throughout August 2018, the community was invited to take a survey to provide input. More than 900 people did so. Here are a few highlights:
20% of residents that took the survey make less than $50,000 and 9% make less than $35,000. This tells us we’ve captured a cross section of lower-income households.
Respondent’s top five employer types they would like to see recruited or expanded in Savannah include: Creative Arts, Software Development, Entertainment, Biotechnology and Aerospace/Defense.
60% of business respondents have less than 25 employees. This tells us we’ve captured the needs of small business.
There is a significant disconnect between the strong desire of businesses to attract and retain talent and their satisfaction with this important factor.
Survey respondents listed primary reasons that are Savannah’s greatest assets as Cost of Living, Port of Savannah, History, Quality of Life, Weather, Beauty, Cultural, Activities and Industry.
Additionally, the below graphs illustrate additional survey results.
On September 1, 2018, we entered the second and third phases — Competitive Positioning Analysis and Target Industry Assessment. On May 14, 2019 SEDA and Angelou Economic presented the Propel Savannah Strategic Action Plan at the SEDA Board of Directors meeting. That presentation can be found here.
With more than 130 action items in the plan that involve SEDA, business and community leaders and the community as a whole, next steps include prioritizing goals and tasks, allocating necessary resources, budgets and staff and engaging and organizing the community.
We invite you to be a part of this process by reading the action items outlined in the plan to see where you can have the most impact. You may find the May 14 presentation here and request a full copy of the plan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.