April 2016

The City of Johns Creek is facing an increasingly competitive environment for recruiting new businesses and retaining existing ones.

Each city is jockeying for an advantage, trying to attract similar businesses and industries. Up until now, Johns Creek lacked a strategic economic vision for the types of businesses to attract, clarity on our economic strengths and weaknesses, and a focused plan to maintain the character of the city throughout this process.

As such, the Johns Creek City Council recently approved a Strategic Economic Development Plan (SEDP) that will serve as a blueprint for monitoring the economic climate of the city, and also act as a framework from which City Council members can better make decisions that directly impact the long-term sustainability of the city.
With the adopted plan, the city can now move forward in a deliberate way to enhance fiscal health, expand the tax base, of which will help to create quality jobs. The strategies in the plan help to increase the opportunities for optimizing Johns Creek’s business environment while protecting the character of our exceptional residential living.
In analyzing the City’s strengths, the plan identified our largest assets as the exceptional schools within Johns Creek, great neighborhoods, educated residents and a premier quality of life. 

Our biggest challenge is traffic congestion, which the SEDP keeps at the forefront of any development decision.  We also face a lack of quality office space and what exists is aging, putting us on the potential path of a declining business environment. 

The SEDP strategy identifies six target industries to recruit: high technology, information technology, software publishing, financial services, medical and healthcare, and professional services. The plan also envisions economic development opportunities in collaboration between the public and private sectors. 

The SEDP was drafted by the Strategic Planning Group, an economic development planning firm, with the guidance of Council members Bob Gray and Steve Broadbent, members of the Johns Creek Advantage and the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce, and the City staff. 

This economic blueprint sets goals and provides a framework to implement the strategic plan.  The goals include:  Promote the City image, climate and brand for economic development; develop infrastructure for balanced growth; position the city for economic development; collaborate with public and private sectors to provide quality development opportunity; and maintain the quality of our residential neighborhoods, which will be taken into account with each decision.

The strategies in the SEDP are subject to City Council approval through the budget process. The City will solicit significant public input prior to commencement of many strategies.  We also recognize traffic as a crucial component to be factored in before moving any detailed plan forward, and it will remain as one of the top priorities to address throughout this process. 

Implementing the plan and reaping the resulting success will require commitment and collaboration with our partners, but together, we can move forward and make Johns Creek a thriving and prosperous community well into the future.

Respectfully,
Mayor Mike Bodker