Economic development takes front seat in Phenix City

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Phenix City just named a new economic development project coordinator, and now he has a new place to help start up the department.

The building Phenix City residents have driven by a hundred times is now the home to the city's economic development department. And it's made possible with help from an area university.

Phenix City Mayor Sonny Coulter told News Leader Nine, "We have a partnership with Troy University that brings resources to the city that quite frankly we wouldn't have the money to buy."

"Phenix City is making a real commitment to economic development and it needs to be said that they're making real investments and they realize the potential the city has and we're trying to give them support to see that vision through," added the Dean of Business at Troy University, Judson Edwards.

The main goal of the new department is to help small business owners settle down in the area and have access to state-of-the-art technology.

Edwards said, "With all the expansion of Ft. Benning it would be a real opportunity for people in the bi-city to have technical assistance to learn how to contract with the government."

The city is still waiting to hire a full-time economic developer and other staff members, but Mayor Coulter says he knows this facility is a great start to bringing more revenue to the area, "To bring business to the city is something that's a 24 hour a day job. It's something that will be worth the effort and worth the cost."

The partnership with Troy University is also going to be beneficial for the students majoring in economic development. They will have hands-on experience at the facility and will gain internship credit for helping with the virtual counseling for new business owners.

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