Roswell Inc held its annual State of the City luncheon on Friday, March 25 at the Country Club of Roswell. Sponsored by over 115 companies and attended by more than 350 guests, this was Roswell Inc’s largest State of the City to date. At this annual event, local businesses, community stakeholders and civic leaders come together to hear a state-of-the-city update from the Mayor of Roswell followed by an economic update from Roswell Inc. Attendees also have the opportunity to network and mingle, furthering business opportunities in the city.
Roswell’s newly elected Mayor Kurt Wilson gave his first state-of-the-city address, casting his vision for Roswell and discussing several new initiatives that he and council are working on, including their 100-Day Plan. The plan is comprised of eleven action items, including the development of a City Master Plan, Evaluating Zero-based Budgeting, approval of the River Master Plan, Establishing an Oxbo Road Action Plan and Hiring an Economic Development Director, among other tasks. Mayor Wilson praised council and staff for already completing the zero-based budgeting evaluation. The city will no longer use incremental budgeting and for fiscal year 2023 zero-based budgeting will be used for personnel and priority-based budgeting for all other matters. This simplifies the budget process as well as saves taxpayers millions of dollars.
“The state of the city is promising,” said Mayor Wilson. “We’re in a place now where we have such great promise for Roswell to be an incredible city for the next 20 to 50 years. And that’s what we as Mayor and Council are working on. We have a promise to keep to our fellow residents.”
Following the Mayor’s address, Roswell Inc’s Executive Director Steve Stroud gave an economic update, kicking it off with an overview of Roswell’s current business climate. Over 670 new businesses opened in 2021 and average salaries increased by over $7,000 to $87,300 annually. Stroud also noted that consumer traffic in several retail centers is at or above pre-pandemic levels, including Canton Street, Connexion Plaza, and King’s Market. Stroud also highlighted several projects that Roswell Inc worked on over the last year such as the recently announced historic district hotel Kimpton, rapidly expanding fintech company Trust Payments, and European motorcycle dealership Triumph.
One of the most anticipated portions of Roswell Inc’s presentation is looking at what’s to come in the year ahead. Stroud announced that the hotel located at Southern Post will be a Hyatt managed by Indigo Road Hospitality Group with 119 rooms, 2 restaurants including a rooftop bar, and an estimated completion date of late 2023. Stroud also announced that GM Innovation Center plans to hire 450 new employees by the fourth quarter of 2022, making them Roswell’s largest employer. Lastly, Wellstar North Fulton Hospital is investing $9.6-million to expand its cancer center program over the next year. The comprehensive center will house surgical, medical and radiation oncology, and a multi-million-dollar CyberKnife system.
“State of the City gives an opportunity for our corporate citizens to not only hear about the great things happening in our community, but to network with one another and hopefully see who they can utilize as vendors,” said Steve Stroud. “The energy level this year was electric—to see people meeting for the first time, shaking hands, exchanging business cards and connecting the dots. That’s what we’re all about at Roswell Inc, connecting the dots so that businesses can be successful in Roswell.”