A major part of the sustainability of Brookhaven is the state of its business climate. City leaders are well aware that a healthy business climate will bring much needed revenue and life into the city, which can only add to its longevity.
“We are still developing our economic development strategy,” said City Manager Marie L. Garrett. “Our first priority has been ensuring that the city has an efficient permit application process. Permits are issued in a timely manner and permit fees are competitive with neighboring cities.”
Garrett added city officials are looking into the demographics of the residents and reaching out to the existing employment base to see what is there.
“When we are ready, we will work with the Brookhaven and DeKalb chambers, as well as the PCID and other resources that are available to us,” she said. “We will get into more detail with our comprehensive plan. In the next 10 days, we will issue an RFP for a consulting group to assist with the comprehensive plan. This planning process will start in June.”
As far as the types of businesses city leaders are looking to attract, they are hoping to bring in businesses that can only enhance the city’s natural charm.
“Brookhaven is committed to bringing quality employment opportunities that can be sustained for the future, as well as retaining the city’s current businesses,” said Garrett.
Mayor J. Max Davis said he will be starting a mayor’s CEO roundtable to meet quarterly to discuss business ideas and concerns. He is committed to being business friendly, with the roundtable acting as his sounding board, he said. As one of the first big business opportunities, Garrett mentioned the city’s delight in the new Hyatt that is being built in Brookhaven as part of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts.
“We see a growing economic base that is sustainable and will receive excellent city services that are predictable and low cost,” said Garrett, of the vision of Brookhaven in 10 to 20 years.
In regards to challenges in drawing new businesses to the area, Garrett said it was too early to tell, but added they are open for business.
Brookhaven has received 426 permit applications since opening for business in January. The city has issued 253 permits, including 27 that are commercial.