Glenn Buddin: Why I Invest in the Oconee Economic Alliance
By Glenn Buddin
As the chairman of the Oconee Economic Alliance, whose goal is to grow investment and increase job opportunities, I am often asked, “Why do you invest in this organization?” The reasons behind my answer comes from a behind the scenes look at the hard work and dedication that goes into the economic development efforts in Oconee County. It is a slow and steady process that doesn’t happen overnight, but the results are well worth the wait.
1. The Oconee Economic Alliance is getting results in jobs and recognition
- Earlier this month, the popular personal finance and consumer advocacy website NerdWallet named Seneca as the “best place to start a business in South Carolina.” We are seeing more and more of these kinds of rankings – the kinds of rankings that draw business growth to Oconee. The numbers show that Oconee as a whole is seeing this impact. In the past 36 months, our county has seen more than $150 million in new capital investment and over 500 jobs attributed to our economic development pursuits.
2. The Oconee Economic Alliance has put us on the map as a business location
- The Alliance has streamlined our story and made it one that is drawing the attention of site selectors. The tools were here, but the Alliance has been able to capitalize on our access to Interstate 85, proximity to the SC Inland Port in Greer, investing in shovel-ready industrial sites that can draw business and helping raise the skill level of our workforce.
3. Economic Development impacts everything
- The world of economic development goes well-beyond just recruiting new businesses to set-up shop in your area. Economic development is the facilitator to improve our county’s ability to be successful. It is about creating local jobs. It is about nurturing businesses to expand their base here. It is about growing entrepreneurs. It is building a stronger workforce. The Alliance has made that a priority and has results to show for it. A strong economic development strategy affects everyone in the county.
4. There is a plan
- The creation of the Oconee Economic Alliance in January 2014 was an effort to put all of the county’s economic development efforts under one roof. This strategy gives us more advantages because we can work in a more streamlined manner when it comes to attracting, retaining and growing business, both large and small, in Oconee. That means more jobs and opportunity for our residents. And that is our underlying goal for everything we do. The Alliance allows for greater emphasis to be placed on economic development, community development, workforce development and implementing the Vision 2028 plan.
The Oconee Economic Alliance is definitely doing its job of making Oconee County the best it can be, but are we doing ours? We need you, like-minded business leaders and community members, getting on board to support the success of Oconee County. I invite others to join with me in supporting the Alliance because at the end of the day, it is up to us that live and work here to ensure a better tomorrow is put into place. That is why I am proud to support the Oconee Economic Alliance.
Glenn Buddin is CEO/CFO of Blue Ridge Bank and the chairman of Oconee Economic Alliance, which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit www.InvestOconeeSC.com