The Business View – June 2015 / From the Publisher

Follow the Trail to Growth

By Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

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It is my firm belief that growth and prosperity of any community are driven by jobs. It’s as simple as that.


So it’s very good news that Mobile was recently ranked as a top 20 city in ZipRecruiter’s list of Southern cities for jobs right now. Now that the job opportunities are here, it’s our challenge and opportunity to recruit the families taking these new positions to our city and county.


When newcomers have choices, they will choose to live where they find the quality of life amenities they most desire. Certainly housing costs and schools are a big part of the equation, but so are features such as parks, walking trails and bike paths.


It’s easy to think of “urban trails” as something residents can live without. But community leaders from across the country are beginning to realize that parks, pedestrian trails and bike paths serve more of a purpose than just places to exercise. They can propel growth.


In the past, those amenities were considered “nice to have,” but today they have become a critical part of a transportation network that helps communities attract people. And, of course, people attract retail and other commercial development.


When you look at surveys done over the past 20 years by groups like the National Association of Homebuilders and National Association of Realtors, the results are incredibly consistent: as much as 60 percent of city residents want a livable, walkable community with recreational opportunities.


That’s a staggering statistic – and the reason the Chamber supports the city and county’s strategic planning efforts for the continued development of our region’s recreational facilities. Having this all important infrastructure will be an incredibly effective economic development tool for further business recruitment – and a way to ensure that newcomers will choose to call Mobile home.


Click here to read The Business View – June 2015