Growth is a good thing. Here in Tallahassee, we are a growing community that has incredible potential. In the last decade, our community has laid the foundation to become one of America’s best mid-sized cities. Don’t believe me? Go to places like Cascades Park, Gaines Street, Mahan Drive, Thomasville Road, or South Monroe Street and see for yourself. The evidence is plentiful. The new version of Tallahassee is being built right before our eyes and it’s about time we tell the world how great it is going to be.
Earlier this week, during our Chamber’s Grow Business Committee meeting, Assistant City Manager Wayne Tedder offered a presentation on the staggering amount of positive growth happening in Tallahassee today. Between investments in our Airport, new Downtown mixed-use projects, expanding neighborhoods, an enhanced transportation network, and world-class park improvements Tallahassee is showing other cities our size how to reinvent while driving down the fast lane.
This is the sort of growth that attracts opportunity. It serves as an inviting siren – calling to both entrepreneurs and people seeking to build a stable life. With growth comes excitement and bragging rights. Both of which are important for companies trying to retain talent. Every day, Tallahassee is becoming a more widely marketable community and somewhere that is well suited to the new economy.
The pandemic that has seemingly settled in over our lives has acted as a societal accelerant. That means that trends, both good and bad, are coming to a head faster than ever before. One of those macro trends in our country is the migration of millennials out of the dense urban metropolis and towards more mid-sized and small cities. As family building and room to breathe become more attractive than cramped apartments and long commutes, places like Tallahassee are well-positioned to succeed.
If we are to capitalize on that opportunity, there can be no doubt about what our intentions are as a community. If we put a stop to growth, as some might have it, then we might just miss our moment. That is something we simply cannot allow.
Here at the Chamber, our mission is rooted in the belief that growth is good. Growth means jobs and that is what provides a path to prosperity. Those who oppose growth must accept that the opposite is true for their relentless insistence on preserving the status quo. Fortunately, despite some opposition to the evolution of our community, Tallahassee remains on track to become a place that people want to move to, remain part of, and invest in.
For those who may not understand the basis of the Chamber’s growth is a good mindset, let us provide a simpler and more direct explanation. Communities that choose not to grow are self-selecting their demise. We at the Chamber fall on the other side of that spectrum. Our members, volunteer leaders, and staff are of the belief that a rising tide lifts all ships. If we are to achieve a future that works for everyone, it must be built upon a growing economy. We have a chance to achieve that reality, but it will take community-wide engagement to see it through.
To believe in growth is to believe in a better Tallahassee. Despite the challenges of our era, we still have the wind in our sails and the momentum we’ve created here continues to propel us. Through our work, we see this truth every day. The Chamber is a place for those who want to improve upon the community we love and the only way to improve is to grow. If you feel the same, then we hope you’ll help spread that message to others. It’s time to talk about the good side of growth.