According to a press release Tuesday, The Americus Sumter Payroll Development Authority (PDA) and the Americus and Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, have agreed to combine functions under a one management structure. The release came after the PDA held a called meeting Monday.
The reorganization will combine the public and private sector efforts of each and create a more focused and effective economic development effort. With the assistance of the Archway Program of the University of Georgia an analysis was completed which identified overlaps among the two organizations.
“The combination allows for a cohesive approach to economic development activities, ranging from prospect activities, business retention and expansion, to membership training, marketing and services. The new entity will work through a process of restructuring, focusing efforts between economic/community development and membership services.
The boards of the organization will strive to bring new businesses to our community, and to serve the needs of existing businesses. With a single organization working toward these common goals the activities of each will be complementary. With a cohesive approach to the process, businesses will be surrounded by an economic development presence for as long as they remain in Sumter County.”
“Both the Payroll Development Authority, created through a constitutional amendment, and the Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit business organization, will continue to have functioning boards. They are designed with specific powers and abilities that allow them to provide services for strengthening the private sector community,” the release states.
The Times-Recorder spoke with PDA Chairman Paul Hall after the reorganization was announced. Hall said the reorganization of the two entities originated at the City and County level due to cuts in funding to both the Chamber and PDA. “We had to find a better way of offering service to the community,” Hall said.
The “combining” of the Chamber and PDA efforts toward economic development was the end result, but the two entities will remain two different boards and employees will keep their current positions with some duties now over-lapping.
As of now, there is no name for the new organization. Operations will be overseen by a president who is yet to be appointed. Also, a vice president of economic development will be named.
Hall said the integrated PDA and Chamber is the way the Boards used to be structured and he says its what many communities the size of Americus and Sumter County are doing. More details on the reorganization will be published as they are made available.
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