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Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission continuing outreach to area businesses

Albany-Dougherty EDC reaching out, maintaining marketing campaign

Staff and board members of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission conduct business at its regular board meeting on Wednesday. Updates were given at the meeting regarding the “Only One Albany” campaign as well as continued outreach to area businesses. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

Staff and board members of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission conduct business at its regular board meeting on Wednesday. Updates were given at the meeting regarding the “Only One Albany” campaign as well as continued outreach to area businesses. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

ALBANY — Outreach is continuing to area businesses, and momentum is gaining on the “Only One Albany” campaign.

That was the report to come out of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission board meeting on Wednesday.

EDC President Justin Strickland reported recent meetings with officials at Miller Coors and Pfizer as part of an effort through the Recruitment/Retention Task Force to help the companies here be more efficient, and also to help Pfizer grow its production.

“We are helping them (Pfizer) to identify local suppliers,” he said.

Barbara Rivera Holmes, EDC director of marketing and existing industries, discussed outreach efforts to Albany and Dougherty County industries — big and small, old and new — by visiting them and dropping off small gifts as tokens of appreciation for their contribution to the area’s economy.

“It’s a way to say thank you and not ask for anything in return,” Holmes said.

There was a call to potentially get more officials involved, to which Albany City Commissioner and EDC Board Member B.J. Fletcher expressed interest.

An update was also given on the business of the Renewal Task Force, which has centered primarily around the “Only One Albany” campaign. The report from the Renewal Task Force meeting on Aug. 6 stated that all the creative materials are out for the campaign, which relate to www.onlyonealbany.com, and that both Holmes and Strickland have been in conversations with the Albany Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the city of Albany as they consider adopting a new Albany logo.

The EDC staff continues to focus on promoting the brand and on public relations — including event sponsorships, a downtown block party, community “street teams” and a Community Heroes program.

“The Community Heroes program will be to identify those working behind the scenes (and honor them),” Strickland said. “There will be a nomination process online.”

A summary of activity for July showed there were 541 visits to www.choosealbany.com, with 76 percent of them being new visits, two development proposals and two prospect visits. There were 57 active leads for the month, compared to 55 in June.

“We have a lot to be proud of and we are anxious to make those announcements when the time is right,” said Strickland.