Coastal Gateway gears up for marketing plan

Published 10:56 am Monday, October 1, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean
On the heels of some of the most active months for industrial recruiting, the Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority is also gearing up for an aggressive marketing plan.
"We've had some incredible activity over the last two months," CGEDA Director Wiley Blankenship said. "We've had a lot of requests for information, and every county has benefited from those requests."
CGEDA is a partnership of Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties, with businesses in those counties also providing investment capital.
Turning those requests for information into requests for proposals is the next step, Blankenship said.
While interest in the area has increased since German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp announced it would build a $3.7 billion plant in north Mobile County – about 75 miles from Brewton – Blankenship said TK has not created the only buzz.
"It's not necessarily a result of TK," he said. "I would like to think it's because of what we've been doing."
In coming months Blankenship plans to attend trade shows for aviation, retail and wood products, as well as food processing and plastics.
Those are among the top areas of recruiting that CGEDA focuses on, Blankenship said.
Attending those shows helps keep the region top of mind with prospects and developers, he said.
Meanwhile, CGEDA has also had exposure in two different trade magazines that published articles and the organization.
"This will be our most aggressive year when it comes to promotion and marketing," Blankenship said.

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