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Updated Apr 21 @ 12:21PM
 

Roswell Inc casts bright economic forecast for 2017

JULIA GROCHOWSKI/Herald
Roswell Mayor Jere Wood speaks on the State of the City.
Steve Stroud
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Roswell has benefited from a strong economic climate in 2016, including:

• 739 new business licenses

• 1,066 estimated new jobs created by new businesses

• 46 ribbon cuttings and ground breakings

• 1,110 construction permits

• 3.8 percent unemployment rate

• $109 million in tourism spending

• $34+ million in food and beverage spending

ROSWELL, Ga. — The future looks bright for Roswell, and the city is only going to keep flourishing from the successes of 2016, according to Roswell Inc’s Executive Director Steve Stroud.
Roswell Inc, a public-private partnership with the city of Roswell for economic development, hosted the Roswell State of the City Jan. 27 with Mayor Jere Wood to go over the economic highlights of 2016 and the outlook for 2017.
“From an economic development perspective, 2016 was a great year for Roswell. Our business climate was strong with the highest level of new businesses opening up in the city in the past several years,” Stroud said.
Food and beverage tourism had a huge impact in 2016, and film tourism is on the rise this year, Stroud said.
One of the biggest economic catalysts was WellStar Health System’s acquisition of Tenet Healthcare in Georgia, including North Fulton Hospital in Roswell. That acquisition brought 40 new physicians and four new physician practices in Roswell. For Roswell Inc in particular, one of its biggest highlights was the announcement of a proposed Canton Place Hotel project to help the city grow as a business and tourist destination.
Roswell is “the largest opportunity zone in the state,” Stroud noted. “We’re poised to continue being a top destination for businesses both large and small.”
For the 12th year in a row, Roswell will not see any property tax increases, but there will be a lot of new projects to look forward to, Wood said.
Some of the major projects for the upcoming year for both the city and Roswell Inc include work on the new City Green, a new pedestrian street in downtown Roswell, a new fire station and creating a comprehensive retail strategy.
For the mayor, some of Roswell’s major challenges in 2017 include improving the city’s transportation, retail, walkability and affordable housing.
“What we’ve got to do is retrofit the apartment complexes and blighted shopping centers,” Wood said. “The people in these communities walk to where they go, but there are no sidewalks coming out of those communities. Those communities are disconnected from the city. They were built for cars, but they need to be redesigned for people.”
Stroud has said that Roswell Inc is also anxious to begin its new relationship with the city’s arts fund.
“There are studies upon studies that show the positive impact a strong and growing arts community has on a city’s economic and business climate, and we are excited what this partnership will mean for the city in the coming years,” Stroud said. “One thing to look for in 2017 is the launch of an Arts & Business Collaborative to connect and foster stronger relationships between those two segments of our community.”
Such partnerships are what helped Roswell recently win the Georgia Municipal Association’s 2017 Live, Work, Play City Award.
“We are continuing to grow our reputation for being a great place to live, work and play,” Stroud said. “That is attracting companies from all over the region to locate and do business in Roswell.”
To learn about Roswell Inc, visit roswellinc.org.

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