Who we are
Regardless of economic conditions, Savannah is fortunate to have a diverse economy that includes the Port of Savannah, tourism, healthcare, manufacturing and the military. While significant growth rarely comes without challenges, these giants have sustained this community and in fact, given us the opportunity to ask, “What’s next?”
To the many who advocated for its creation and those who have since added their voices to the cause, The Creative Coast (CC) is part of the answer.
The Creative Coast Vision is for Savannah/Chatham County to become the economic hub of the most creative, innovative, and progressive region in Georgia (and perhaps one day, the Southeastern US), with continually increasing opportunity and prosperity. Lofty perhaps, but inspiring nonetheless to many who believe in that and want to be a part of it.
What we do
Our mission is much more concrete. What is the most effective long-term approach for achieving such a vision? From an economic development perspective, it is to help create, grow and attract higher-than-average-wage jobs and knowledge-based businesses (KBBs), furthering the development of a creative and innovation-based economy (Wikipedia). Savannah is poised to emerge from this recession on the right side of the new economy, and CC is trying its best to make sure that happens.
To that end, CC is a focused, collaborative partner in community economic development, working with many state and local agencies and organizations, though none more closely than the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).
Aside from attraction efforts, CC dedicates the majority of our time to the community, working with established businesses, entrepreneurs, economic development partners, colleges and universities. CC hosts networking events with strategic business goals or industry focus in addition to offering a variety of business education and professional development programs. We work closely with Ariel Savannah Angel Partners, among others, to identify new funding sources for companies seeking capital. We meet regularly, one-on-one, with local KBBs and entrepreneurs to offer information, ideas, and resources.
Last but not least, CC manages a website that draws between 20,000 – 30,000 unique visitors monthly, more than 5,000 of those being registered users and local business owners, and a blog that generates relevant discussion and awareness of related business issues. CC also runs a successful jobs and resume board, connecting talent to jobs, and jobs to talent. At any one time, the website has more than 100 jobs posted, and since July 2008, has facilitated more than 140 individual job placements.
While we are only a dedicated staff of four, we’re lucky to live in a place where so many people are doing so many meaningful things that advance our Vision. Truth is, Savannah must reach a critical mass that will allow this burgeoning – and highly desirable – sector of Savannah’s new economy to flourish. Everyone will benefit, and everyone can play a role. Visit the CC website and attend CC events, and ways to contribute will emerge. We must all work to contribute our own ideas and actions to this movement, so that this vision can be achieved.