Dublin Reveals Secret to Attracting New Businesses | News
Georgia Trend magazine calls Ms. Willie Paulk, Dublin-Laurens County Chamber president, one of the most powerful people.
Paulk has lived in the city for close to 23 years, and in her time as president, she's helped to bring several big industries to town.
"In 2000, Best Buy chose Dublin over 200 other communities in six days. Then Fred's Distribution came," says Paulk.
But she says she can't take all the credit.
"I never did anything by myself. It's a partnership. It's people working seven days a week to improve the quality of life which includes medical, education, retail. All that has to be in place," explains Paulk.
Part of that team is president of Development and Authority, Cal Wray.
Wray makes the pitch to potential businesses. "They can be successful at a lower cost of business, the same quality, or higher quality of life," says Wray
Wray and the team do trade shows and market their city all over the country and internationally.
He says last year, they worked with around 70 companies, with an estimate of $4.8 billion of potential investments and a potential for over 12,000 jobs.
And already this year, they've worked with 15 companies. Seven even visited the community.
"It's a numbers game. The more companies you can get in front of, the more people you can talk to," explains Wray.
One thing that makes their sales pitch effective is having a model building for the company to look at.
"Instead of going out having to clear a site and prepare a site, then construct a building, then move your equipment in, we take the first two steps out," says Wray.
We asked to see one of their spec buildings, short for speculation, but they just sold it.
"We spent some time building that building, and the first prospect that looked at the building took it, and that was New Holland Tractor Company," says Paulk.
And she revealed another secret to attracting new industries: location. "Being halfway between Atlanta and Savannah, the airport and the shipping port, and on an interstate that connects to the other interstates."
She says leadership is number two on the list, followed by liveability. "They see the community is always trying to make themselves better, I think it's just called pride," says Paulk.
And she says there's plenty of room to grow.
"We're always open for business."