Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced that the Global Commerce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development produced a 10 percent increase in job creation during the state’s most recent fiscal year.
Statistics from the department show its 389 company expansion or location announcements generated 31,656 jobs and $6.07 billion in investment. These statistics indicate a continued trend of growth since the state’s 2009 fiscal year.
“These outstanding results indicate that Georgia is already perceived by companies large and small as the No. 1 place for business,” Deal said. “But we will not rest on those laurels. We will continue to cultivate a healthy, resourceful business environment that will attract the corporate expansion activity so important to providing greater opportunities for our citizens.”
The increase in jobs and investment during fiscal year 2013 came about despite a slight (6 percent) dip in the number of projects worked by GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division, and despite the challenge of overcoming high FY12 numbers impacted by large job and investment numbers announced that year by Caterpillar and Baxter.
Of the total projects, 66 percent were the expansion of existing businesses that have had major investment or job creation in Georgia, and 34 percent of the projects were from companies investing in Georgia for the first time.
A quarter of the new locations were by international companies establishing regional or hemispherical operations in Georgia. These international companies represented 1,187 jobs and $294 million in investment capital. Expansions of existing Georgia industries created 16,969 jobs, 54 percent of the total job creation and $4.34 billion in investment — almost three quarters of the total fiscal-year investment.
More than half (18,065) of the jobs created and more than three quarters ($4.6 billion) of the state’s investment were generated outside metro Atlanta. This job and investment creation represented 265 projects (68 percent) of the department’s announcements for the 2013 fiscal year.
“The previous fiscal year included several enormous projects, including Caterpillar and Baxter, that set a very high bar for the department,” GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said. “I’m proud that the hard work by our entire team, in collaboration with our many partners, enabled us to surpass that benchmark with even more job creation and investment.”
The Global Commerce Division also contributed to the growth and development of Georgia’s small businesses and entrepreneur-led ventures. The Entrepreneur and Small Business Office served 1,138 startups and small businesses, while 60 percent of the 1,050 companies served by the Existing Industry Team had fewer than 100 employees.
The International Trade Division of GDEcD also experienced a record fiscal year by serving 21 percent more companies than in the previous fiscal year, totaling 1,346 companies. The Trade Division assisted companies in most Georgia counties, resulting in 420 deals that were valued at more than $35 million in FY13, a 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Georgia’s global outreach continued in FY13. Deal led business missions to countries including Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, China, Japan and France. The agency also undertook trade missions to Chile, South Africa, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan, all targeted toward increasing trade opportunities for the state and leveraging the state’s international representatives, located in 10 strategic regions of the world.
In addition, GDEcD welcomed 41 delegations of business and government leaders from at least 35 countries during the 2013 fiscal year.
In addition to having a record year generating jobs and investment, GDEcD received numerous national awards for its work during FY13, including a 2013 Gold Shovel award from Area Development magazine. The Gold Shovel honor showcases state economic agencies that create significant jobs through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotional activities that attract new employers and investments to the state. Site Selection named the Baxter and Caterpillar projects among the top North American deals of 2012. The Baxter project was also named the 2012 Economic Development Project of the Year by both Area Development and Business Facilities, and was a recipient of a 2013 CiCi Corporate Investment award from Trade & Industry Development. The Caterpillar project took home a Cici Community Impact award, also from Trade & Industry Development.