That mission is part of an overall infrastructure investment and economic development plan the group created with community input and support from the Atlanta Regional Commission, the DeKalb County Development Authority and other partners.
Emory Morsberger, CID president, said the district developed the plan because the area was “not getting business at the rate that we should be and we have vacant space that we want to fill.”
The group and its partners identified three key improvements needed to cultivate job growth. Morsberger said the roads require infrastructure work to better accommodate tractor-trailers and trucks.
“Most of our business is coming in on tractor-trailers and then being shipped out to places around the metro area,” he said.
He explained the county’s regulatory environment needs adjusting to make it easier for businesses that need permitting, zoning or business licenses.
“In other counties, when someone wants a zoning or a business license, it usually moves a lot faster than DeKalb County moves,” Morsberger said.
The third key improvement identified was finding a way to enhance the overall marketing of the area. The employment industries in Stone Mountain are generally distribution, warehousing and manufacturing, he explained.
“We are working to attract more of those kinds of businesses to our area,” Morsberger said. “These are businesses that hire a lot of people and they pay pretty good. Manufacturing pays more than service [industry jobs].”
The district is currently working with county departments to tackle those three areas highlighted for improvement.
“The whole objective of our plans was to create this action,” he said. “Our goal is not just to talk about [what needs to happen]. Our goal is to make them happen so that we get people moving in to our empty buildings and creating these 2,000 jobs by the end of next year.”
The Atlanta Regional Commission and the DeKalb County Development Authority invested about $100,000 for the group to create the infrastructure investment and economic development plan. Planning began in June and included a series of three public meetings where the community was able to provide feedback on local economic issues.
Morsberger said another issue the community brought forth was that schools needed to be improved to better prepare graduates for the local work force.