Award-Winning GEDC Celebrates Economic Development Week
10 May 2022
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) created Economic Development Week (EDW) in 2016 to help raise awareness for the work Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) do. EDOs’ accomplishments are often overlooked because the efforts happen behind the scenes to power the local economy.
Award-Winning Giddings Economic Development Corporation
Successful economic development in a small town like Giddings, Texas, does not just happen. It takes savvy, hard work, and the dedication of an experienced team. Award-winning Giddings Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) works to retain and enhance existing businesses, target recruitment of new businesses, build local entrepreneurship, enhance the tax base, and ultimately improve the quality of life for the entire community.
GEDC was honored by the IEDC at their 2021 annual conference with one silver and three gold awards for economic development activities conducted in a city with a population of less than 25,000.
- General Purpose Website, Gold Award
- Multi-Year Economic Development, Silver Award
- Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse, Population, Gold Award
- Public-Private Partnerships, Population, Gold Award
More GEDC Accomplishments
When COVID-19 emerged, the GEDC decided a revamped website was the best way to serve, protect, and inform the community. The website was completed at warp speed and is a true workhorse that functions as a dynamic marketing tool and as a third space for locals to educate and communicate with one another. The website contains an inventory of economic data on Giddings, such as population growth, income levels, unemployment levels, taxes, land and buildings for sale, and other information pertinent to potential business location and development. Over the past five to seven years prior to the pandemic, the GEDC provided more than $1 million in small business incentives to “walk-ins.” With the website, the GEDC is able to service the business community and attract new businesses even more efficiently.
The GEDC provided Zochnet with a $50,000 emergency pandemic grant to expedite the completion of Phase 1 of the fiber optic project, which brought broadband service to remote workers in underserved areas. Zochnet also renovated the old jail complex in downtown Giddings to create a training center resulting in property improvement and the creation of 55 jobs.
The GEDC has distributed more than $200,000 in COVID relief funds to aid the community and businesses. In addition to the $50,000 mentioned above to extend fiber optic, $120,000 went to businesses to assist with rent/mortgage and utilities, and $30,000 went to health care entities for PPE and to retrofit offices for distancing safety.
Functions of GEDC
Incentives and Investment
Working within its budget, GEDC develops incentive packages and programs that promote long-term economic opportunity and sustainability. The GEDC facilitates capital investment to increase the City’s property tax and sales tax bases and works with state and local agencies to secure funding and training.
In the past couple of years, businesses like Altman Plants, Pumpco, Kaemark Salon Furnishings, and Dollar Tree have brought substantial private sector investment and created jobs in the area. In continuing efforts, the GEDC has facilitated millions of dollars to support the development of the Giddings 290 Business Park and for the development and implementation of a Downtown Strategic Plan. The GEDC owns the Business Park and works in partnership with the City of Giddings to fast-track permits, develop and approve incentive packages, and facilitate timely, efficient, and cost-effective sale of the land. Economic Development Authority grants totaling $1.2 million will bring water lines and create parking lots.
The ongoing $34 million U.S. Highway 290 East expansion project will positively impact the Giddings economy as well. With the new and expanding businesses and continued investments in the area, it is expected that the local economy will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Marketing and Data Collection
The GEDC markets Giddings and recruits new businesses. It serves as a primary interface for critical data needed for development prospects, such as the availability of space for retail, office, and industrial use. The GEDC’s award-winning website increases the functionality and efficiency of its services.
Representation and Support for Economic Development
The GEDC delivers updates to the Mayor and City Council regarding possible expansions or relocations and represents the EDC program to elected officials, boards, and outside agencies. The GEDC also coordinates strategies to integrate EDC services with other programs, departments, and agencies and provides staff support for municipal committees and entities.
Giddings Economic Development Corporation is Ready to Assist
Giddings is ideally located at the intersection of Highways 290 and 77 between Austin and Houston. We have access to advanced fiber-optic telecommunication networks, a skilled workforce, major transportation options, abundant groundwater, an Opportunity Zone, and several excellent properties for sale or lease. Residents and businesses also enjoy low taxes and a lower cost of living.
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