Despite Pandemic, Gov. Kemp Reports FY20 Economic Development Projects Increase in Georgia
From the Office of Governor Brian Kemp
On September 1, Governor Brian P. Kemp, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), announced an increase in economic development projects in Georgia and a total of more than $7.4 billion in new investments made in the state during fiscal year 2020. This news follows today’s announcement by Governor Kemp that Area Development has named the State of Georgia the “Top State for Doing Business” for the seventh consecutive year.
During fiscal year 2020, economic development project locations increased compared to the prior year, and the state reported a 30% increase in jobs created outside the ten-county metro Atlanta area. From July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, and despite the global impacts of COVID-19 during the second half of the fiscal year, GDEcD’s Global Commerce division supported the creation of 24,133 new jobs – generating more than $7.4 billion in total investment. The location of 350 projects constituted a 4% increase from fiscal year 2019.
Even while facing a global pandemic, jobs and investment numbers in Georgia have increased when compared to the same time period last year. Between March 14 and July 31, 2020 – one month into the new 2021 fiscal year – 113 new economic development projects have been located, creating 11,255 jobs and nearly $3 billion in investment.
“These numbers, in addition to the state receiving the seven-year achievement of being named ‘Top State for Business,’ are proof that the fundamentals that have made Georgia a leading competitor for investment remain strong. Businesses far and wide understand that, and the result is more jobs for hardworking Georgians,” said Governor Kemp. For the second consecutive year, the manufacturing, logistics, software development, and tech industries experienced significant growth in both jobs and investment. Health IT, digital media, and data centers also saw increased jobs and investment numbers compared to fiscal year 2019. Outside of the Atlanta metro region, 14,298 jobs were created and investments totaled $6 billion, representing 59% of the total jobs generated and 81% of total investments during the fiscal year.
“Seeing significant growth in these industries – despite COVID-19 – is a testament to Georgia’s commitment to our workforce and infrastructure. Our state’s unmatched probusiness environment gives companies confidence that Georgia is the best place to invest, expand, and relocate,” Governor Kemp continued. “Bringing more opportunities to rural Georgia has been a key priority of my administration, and with more than half of the jobs created in FY20 falling outside of the metro area, we are making strides toward that goal. I thank our state economic development partners in every corner of Georgia and around the globe for remaining laser-focused on continuing to bring new jobs and opportunities to our state. Working together, we will continue to put hardworking Georgians first.”
The data on fiscal year 2020 also comes following the announcement that Atlanta was named No. 1 Tech Hub in the United States by Business Facilities Magazine. Compared to fiscal year 2019, investments in tech during fiscal year 2020 increased by 57%, totaling nearly $120 million. The Global Commerce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development assisted in the creation of 3,735 software development and tech jobs across the state – a 25% increase when compared to fiscal year 2019.
In addition, the Georgia Ports Authority recently reported that from January through May 2020, the Port of Savannah exported more loaded containers than any other port in the U.S., accounting for 12.2% of the entire market share.
“Economic development is a team sport, and our partners deserve tremendous credit for Georgia’s success. Local government officials and economic developers, our sister state agencies, universities and technical colleges, and our many partners across the state have helped us maintain this unprecedented momentum. We are incredibly grateful for the Georgia businesses which continue to invest in our state and our people,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia has a proven track record of offering the resources that businesses need for success. I thank Governor Brian Kemp and the General Assembly for their consistent support and foresight in providing the environment and tools needed for prosperity. Great news for Georgians continues to come in the form of jobs and opportunities, and I look forward to continuing our incredible relationships with all of the companies that call Georgia home.”
“These numbers and major achievements show that our state’s diverse economy remains fundamentally strong despite the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 during the last half of the fiscal year,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce Scott McMurray. “I am proud of our entire Global Commerce team and local economic development partners with whom we have the pleasure of working hand-in-hand with in our communities across Georgia.” Companies who already maintained a presence in the state prior to fiscal year 2020 added 9,550 of the 24,133 jobs and $4.6 billion of the total investment as they expanded operations. Thanks to Georgia’s assets and relationships with international partners and industries, $3.37 billion investment and 6,428 jobs were generated by industries from around the world choosing to expand or establish operations in Georgia.
GDEcD is the state’s sales and marketing arm and the lead agency for attracting new business investment. The Department encourages the expansion of existing industry and small businesses by locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts, film, music, and digital entertainment projects. GDEcD is also primarily responsible for planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.