Albany EDC becoming more competitive

The new Wal-Mart is located in the Military Zone

The Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission is taking it up a notch in an effort to be more competitive.

The Albany EDC has a lot on its plate right now, trying to sell Albany to industries. President Ted Clem updated the Dougherty County Commission Monday on what they're doing to help clear that plate.

One attempt is extra certification. The Pecan Grove Industrial Park is now recognized as being "G.R.A.D." certified; Georgia Rating for Accelerated Development. That means the site is shovel ready for any project to move in immediately.

The commission is also marketing their locations inside certain designated zones that allow businesses to be eligible for tax credits. Two zones exist in Albany: the Military Zone and the Opportunity Zone.

"The unique nature of our two zones, the military and opportunity zone is it extends those credits beyond manufacturing. Any type of economic activity, retail for example, will be a prime candidate to receive state job tax credits," Says EDC President, Ted Clem.

The new Walmart is located in the Military Zone and is expected to be eligible for $6 million in tax credits. Over 80% of the outparcels has already been leased out, which is good news for small business.

As long as a business creates at least two jobs for two years, they are eligible for a $3,500 tax credit.

"It's significant when a small business can start and be able to utilize that $7,000 capital, it makes a difference when you lease or when you got other fixed costs that are affecting a small business," Says Dougherty County Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

Clem believes that with these incentives, 2011 will be a great year for Albany.