TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – How does Tallahassee handle growth in the future?
More than 500 people spent the past weekend trying to answer that question at an annual conference by the Chamber of Commerce.
We took a look at the key areas the chamber says the city needs to work on. From what we’ve seen, they seem to focused on the city getting bigger on several levels: population, development, jobs, you name it.
Tallahassee is growing at a fast pace and the chamber says the city needs to keep up.
“If you can’t get past the Google search of your town, then you’ve got some real problems,” said Jay Revell, the vice president of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
A weekend getaway from Tallahassee brought back four main ideas, one of them being reputation.
“Over the past few years, you’ve had some very negative headlines about our community,” said Revell.
The chamber says the crime rate and recent investigations impact economic growth; the second key point. It’s not just about getting more jobs, but what kinds of jobs come here, including construction.
Development in Tallahassee never stops, project after project popping up.
Slaton Murray, the commercial advisor for TALCOR and partner at UrbanTallahassee.com said, “A lot of people are taking a lot of chances, and when people take chances like that, from a business perspective, good things tend to prosper.”
The third takeaway focuses on making sure that development works for everyone.
“If we want to continue to be on a trajectory like our city plans to be, we’re doing the right things right now,” said Murray.
The final focus area is addressing the economic gap in communities across town.
Reverend Dr. R.B. Holmes, Jr., the pastor at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church said, “It is a food desert, and that ought to be unacceptable in the 21st century.”
Reverend R.B. Holmes, Jr. is talking about Frenchtown. He’s been pushing for important development in the neighborhood.
“It has always been our dream and vision to bring a first-class, first-rate grocery store in Frenchtown — and hopefully, through this development team, we’re making some real progress,” said Reverend Holmes.
The Chamber calls that economic gap the idea of “Two Tallahassees” and that people experience the community in very different ways every day.
So, the call to action here is to get everyone on a more level playing field.