The Inc Blog

Roswell Inc’s Debra Ewing Graduates from Georgia Academy

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2017 Georgia Academy Graduates - Debra EwingRoswell Inc’s business development and outreach coordinator, Debra Ewing, graduated last month from the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, a four-month program through the State of Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs.

Created in 1993, the Academy provides training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, planning, and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development

“Going through this program helped me outline and better understand the important aspects of economic development,” Ewing said. “Cities and counties don’t experience isolated problems when it comes to economic development. One of the great things this program instilled in all of us was the value of collaboration – that when we work together, we become stronger as a region and more competitive on a national and international scale.”

Since its inception, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually in all twelve regions of the state.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.  “Many times, the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

This year’s class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from ten counties in Region 3 Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.

Ewing joins 10 other Academy graduates from Fulton County this year: Chandra Farley, Emily Giordano, Robert Ross, Dawn Price, Robert Hughes, Sara Saxner, Lauren Price, Trudy Smith, Hattie Portis-Jones, and Bianca Howard.

Meet the Roswell Inc Team

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Get to know the faces of Roswell’s economic development organization.

To learn more, check out the one-on-one interviews below.

Steve Stroud

Steve Stroud

Executive Director

Carisa Turner

Carisa Turner

Director of Communications & Public Relations

Debra Ewing

Debra Ewing

Business Development & Outreach Coordinator

Ashley Allen

Ashley Allen

Communications & Admin Coordinator

Stephanie Robertson

Stephanie Robertson

Program & Event Coordinator

Thank You (And some great news!)

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stroud_headshot-1Most of you have heard me say, “It’s always a great day to do business in Roswell” – and that statement rings even more true today.

We are thrilled to share that – at last night’s city council meeting – Mayor and Council approved (4-3) our organization’s full funding request. We are grateful for this vote and for the opportunity to continue building upon our work in the coming year.

However, what’s really on my mind more than anything this morning is the overwhelming gratitude I feel for each and every one of you. All of us at Roswell Inc were completely blown away by the amount of support we’ve received over the past couple weeks.

Thank you for writing letters. Thank you for speaking on our behalf. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for rallying in support of a stronger business community.

Your kind words and stories of how we’ve impacted your business have been wonderful and powerful to hear. They have reminded us why we do what we do – and they’ve left us feeling reinvigorated with a stronger and even deeper sense of purpose and passion.

But more than that, your words have left us humbled.

We feel honored that we get to wake up every day and work toward our vision of making Roswell the best place in the region for innovative and community-minded businesses and entrepreneurs.

That’s what drives all of us at Roswell Inc – helping business owners like you succeed.

So, from all of us at Roswell Inc, thank you. We are excited for what’s ahead in the coming year!

What’s the Opportunity Zone Tax Credit?

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Roswell Opportunity ZoneOur recent Annual Business Survey showed that 62% of respondents were not familiar with Roswell’s job tax credit called the Opportunity Zone. Based on that data, we thought this would be a great time to provide some fresh information about this incentive and how it works.

The Opportunity Zone is a state incentive program available to local governments that apply to have an area of their community designated as an Opportunity Zone to encourage redevelopment and revitalization in certain older commercial and industrial areas.

Roswell’s Opportunity Zone is one of the largest in the state and is available to any Roswell business located within the zone – whether you are a new business or have been around for 20+ years.

Here’s how it works:

  • If your business hires at least two new employees in one year, your company is able to receive a $3,500 tax credit per new job created for up to five years.
  • There is no maximum limit on the number of new jobs created that can take advantage of the tax credit.
  • Your business must be registered in Roswell and be located within the boundary of the Opportunity Zone to qualify – View the Opportunity Zone Map here
  • The job credit is used against 100% of Georgia income tax liability and withholding tax.
  • You can only apply for the tax credit through 2020. (The five-year credit, itself, can extend past 2020.)

Many of you indicated in the survey that you anticipate hiring additional employees in the coming year.

If you are one of those businesses, and you are located in the Opportunity Zone, make sure to contact us to learn more about how to take advantage of this incentive! You can email Debra Ewing, our Business Outreach & Development Coordinator, at

You can also learn more about the program and apply through the City of Roswell’s website.

Roswell Raises the Bar

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Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.31.01 PMThe Mayor’s State of the City presentation illuminated a bright and exciting future for the City of Roswell. Unemployment rates have dropped to the lowest in the state, and crime is notably low . Business is booming, the parks are in peak condition and the historic district is flourishing. Economic development efforts are facilitating opportunity and growth at unprecedented rates and the Mayor contributes much of this success to the creation of Roswell Inc.

“Roswell has never been in better condition than it is right now,” Mayor Wood said confidently. “One of the best decisions my council ever made was to create Roswell Inc.”

“We work with businesses throughout the City of Roswell, from the one man operations all the way to corporations like GM with over 1300 employees,” Roswell Inc Executive Director Steve Stroud said.

Success in Roswell has lead to a significant population increase as more and more companies and families come to put down roots. The rapid growth has some Roswell residents concerned, as the demand continues to exceed the supply as far as space. Increased density raises some concerns about traffic and cost of living.

“The Atlanta population will continue to grow and come our way,” Wood said. “Change will create anxiety and opposition, but also opportunity. Our biggest threat today is complacency.”

In his presentation, Mayor Wood laid out many of Roswell’s current and future projects, including but not limited to the new elementary school, the new water plant, an extension of the river trail to the Chattahoochee Nature Center and multiple transportation improvements currently under way.

To learn more about the Mayor’s State of the City event, watch the highlights here.


Georgia Prepares its Workforce for the Future

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In Jan. of 2014, Gov. Nathan Deal led an initiative to determine what types of skilled labor the businesses of Georgia would likely need most in the next decade. His timing is fortuitous as Georgia is expected to add at least 71,000 jobs in 2015 alone. Along with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Deal launched the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) to gather data on the State’s fastest growing industries and prepare the workforce of Georgia to fill these needs. On Dec. 10, 2014, the findings of this initiative were released.

“This report represents a long-term collaborative commitment to ensure that all Georgia companies have the support they need to be competitive in the global marketplace,” Deal said. “I am confident that the expertise provided by education and private-sector industry leaders will boost our state’s economy and maintain Georgia’s status as the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.”

The HDCI focused on the most prevalent and competitive industries in Georgia, such as agriculture, aerospace, automotive, defense, film and television, interactive entertainment, healthcare, life sciences, information technology, logistics and manufacturing. Popular trends consistent in the employee population of these industries included participation in internships and co-ops, the development of “soft skills” in younger employees and a move to hire more veterans.

Essentially, these top industries are pushing for earlier introductions to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students and partnerships between the business community and the local boards of education.

“One of Georgia’s greatest economic development assets is our reliable workforce,” GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said. “The High Demand Career Initiative gives us a unique opportunity to anticipate the needs of our existing industries in order to prepare Georgia students for the high demand jobs that will be available in five to 10 years.”

The GDEcD, USG and TCSG have taken these findings to heart and are wasting no time implementing their own programs to support the trends and prepare the future employees. As a result of efforts such as the HDCI, Georgia’s students will enter the local workforce highly skilled, prepared and globally competitive. Georgia will become not only the number one place to do business, but also the number one place to build a career.