Paneled guests Greg Baranco, Becky Blalock, Craig Lesser and Bob Voyles took questions about the economy and business environment in DeKalb County and Georgia from moderator Yvette Cook.
Cook started by asking the group their opinion on the business climate in the U.S.
The panelists said they believe the market is still doing better than any other market, but it needs work.
“America is still the best market in the world,” Blalock said. “The only thing is that there is not as much of capital to use.”
There was also discussion about the community and assets the county has to offer current and future businesses. Voyles said he believes urban communities such as Decatur will attract those 21st century workers.
Lesser said the county needs to look at not only how they can attract new businesses, but also how to grow the businesses that are already here.
He said he does not believe this is an era where many corporations will leave because it is expensive to do so.
Baranco said businesses also should become more involved with the community if they want a return on their investments.
“It is hard to make a withdrawal if you have not made a deposit,” Baranco said. “So we have to do a better job of polishing the assets we already have.” The panel also discussed the importance of communities coming together to help improve education and quality of life. Lesser said “Look at Decatur, years ago no one wanted to go there even for a court date and now the streets are filled all day.”
The discussion ended with the panelists reminding everyone to stay on the positives when selling the county to a new business.