Chamber Chat – SAGA and Elected Officials on the Same Page

December 06, 2020 | Written by: sanford-user

By Meg Moss

This past Monday and Tuesday, the County and City held public hearings on four rapidly moving economic development projects proposing a combined capital investment of more than $2 Billion and more than 1400 potential new jobs. “Due to the highly competitive nature of these projects, all four projects have requested incentive proposals from the communities remaining on their short list of potential sites” stated Jimmy Randolph, Sanford Area Growth Alliance CEO. In an email to SAGA leadership, he reminded them that, as SAGA leaders, they are uniquely positioned to understand and articulate the positive impact of these projects on our community and the local economy. “If you believe that additional tax base expansion and quality new job creation are vital for a prosperous future for this community and its citizens, please consider sharing your perspective with the Commissioners and City Council during the public hearings as they deliberate on these very important proposals.”

It was no surprise that quite a number of SAGA and Chamber Board members jumped right in to make comments to our County Commissioners and City Councilmen.

Kelly Klug, Lee County resident, past Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Board, and Coordinator of Grants Development at Central Carolina Community College shared “As a resident of Lee County since 2006, I have seen the incredible economic growth and positive changes in Sanford and Lee County as the result of sound economic development policies and planning. The resulting increase in the tax base and number of new jobs have helped solidify a strong future for our community. We’d like to see this continue.

Sanford/Lee County has been able to win many new projects against strong competition by providing excellent customer service and offering competitive incentive packages. As a result, I ask that you consider approving competitive incentive packages to the new projects being presented this week. Each of these projects will create jobs paying wages at or above the local average wage, while also adding to the local tax base.

While our successes to date have been significant, now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal.”

Daniel Simmons, Chamber of Commerce Board Chair, and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Carolina submitted comments as well. “The City of Sanford’s current and past success with public-private partnerships has placed our community on the world’s stage for continued economic development and job growth. We are a legitimate competitor against other states and countries for cutting-edge careers. These careers fully utilize the skills of our current and future workforce while compensating them at competitive rates that promote both individual and community prosperity.

The opportunities before us exist because of visionary leadership, a great understanding of the economic landscape, calculated decision-making, and because of the power of public-private partnerships. May we boldly continue on our trajectory of economic success so that all citizens, both current and future, can fully realize Sanford as an amazing place to live, work, and play. May we continue to cement its future as a place where both domestic and foreign investments are made, keeping jobs in North Carolina and the United States.

I humbly and respectfully ask you to fully invest in the current economic development projects on the agenda as requested by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance. Our children are depending on it.”

These are just two of many comments that were presented to our elected officials. SAGA sincerely values the positive relationship with our City and County elected officials, and it is evident by the votes this past week that our elected officials are on our same page when we are competing for new, good paying jobs and increased taxable investment.