“We’re really focused on 400 jobs that will pay an average of $85,000 or more,” said Sean Mikula of Power 10 Fundraising, an outside consultant for the nonprofit.
He said those 400 jobs will create a ripple effect resulting in a total of more than 600 jobs, because new companies and employees will create additional work at accounting firms, law firms, real estate agencies, banks, shops, restaurants and other businesses.
The initiatives for the nonprofit include attracting and recruiting new businesses to the city, supporting retention and expansion of existing businesses, and supporting the formation and growth of small businesses. The nonprofit will hire an economic development director and staff.
“There are a lot of efforts underway in economic development, but there has not been any group [or] entity that has been focused around Johns Creek itself,” McCoy said.
He said if a business wanted to relocate to Johns Creek, there is no clear-cut organization with which to consult for aid.
“We saw that as a significant gap and felt like we needed to close that gap in order to make sure that we were on the playing field,” McCoy said.
Mikula said the organization “is about Johns Creek taking, for the first time, a proactive, intentional approach to growing the business sector.”
A fundraising campaign is underway with goals to raise $1.5 million over five years, or $300,000 per year, to cover operational costs.
“What our goal is in terms of the fundraising aspect is to make sure that while we want the city to support it financially, we do not want them to be the majority supporter on that,” McCoy said. “We want it to be driven out of the private sector.”
He said the city will reap the benefits of the nonprofit’s efforts in a more fiscally responsible manner than if an economic development department was funded entirely out of the city budget. The nonprofit will collaborate with the city, the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce and other regional economic development groups.
Johns Creek Advantage will host an invite-only kick-off event on May 7 with Commissioner Chris Cummiskey, from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, delivering the keynote speech. For more information, contact the nonprofit at (404) 937-6450.