By Taylor Boyd
The Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved its fiscal year 2022 strategic plan at an August meeting.
The plan, which is comprised of an operations plan and a marketing plan, has as its mission statement “to support business development and improve the quality of life for citizens through strategic public investment and access to higher paying jobs.”
Bill Clark, chairman of the EDA board, said the organization set out to see what it could do, and what it wants to do, to help the county.
The EDA came up with four major goals to complete as part of the plan’s operations component: increase economic growth and access to opportunity, improve infrastructure needed to grow the local economy, grow retain, and attract talent, and enhance quality of life. Under each major goal the group included up to 10 individual steps to accomplishing the overlying goal.
Clark said the plan also includes specific action items the group wants to try to do to accomplish the goals.
“We actually have 65 different action items of things we want to try and work on. I’m sure we can probably add even more to that, but these are what we deemed to be important,” he said.
Clark said the plan’s marketing component includes marketing the county and the EDA to attract people and businesses to the area. The marketing aspect is largely based on communications between the organization, the public, political representatives, county departments and board of supervisors.
Other components in the marketing section include identifying the assets, needs, and businesses of the county.
“We want to try to retain every business we can in the county. We want to take those businesses that we’re retaining, and we want to try and see what we can try and do to get them to expand,” he said.
In other matters, the EDA board:
*Approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the EDA, Bryce Simmons, and the Town of Stuart Council. The memorandum is subject to the approval by Simmons and the Council.
*Approved the consent agenda.
*Approved the financial report.
*Heard a Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) update.
*Heard a broadband update.