- The Huntsville region offers a wide variety of types of job offerings among a broad spectrum of sectors and industries.
- It is easy for local workers to move among local employment opportunities, and to create their own businesses.
“There is the need to create more diversity in the businesses across the City of Huntsville. There is a heavy focus on defense-related industries and businesses that have some affiliation with Redstone Arsenal. While continuing to support and benefit from that economic engine, it is imperative that diversification efforts continue, in terms of businesses, employees, and wages.” – Lakey Boyd, RePosit Strategies
The key to a sound economic base is diversity. It helps to ensure consistency and stability in the face of fluctuations in the economy. The key to sustainable development is a diversity of goods and services to appeal to the widest customer base feasible. It is critically important to expand the types and sizes of businesses in the City in an effort to achieve long-term sustainability.
Facilitate the creation of business associations across the City to connect businesses and build private sector capacity. Assign a specific liaison from the City to coordinate with these business associations to ensure communication and relevant assistance.
Incentivize upgrades of aging office buildings across the City in order to overhaul, or in some cases replace, these obsolete structures over time. Offer façade grants or low-interest loans for both small and large commercial buildings to encourage exterior improvements to outdated office facilities.
Support and encourage the “Makers Movement” as a way to grow the skilled workforce and small-scale industrial base. This support could take the form of financial assistance, technical assistance, and incubator space.
Integrate small scale light industrial uses such as artisans, small manufacturers and customized production in the more urban, close-in areas of the City and not just in large-format dedicated industrial parks.
Undertake partnership efforts to build a regional buyer-supplier network in key local industry groups through creation of a database that “matches” customers and suppliers.
Form urban enterprise zones as a way of revitalizing particular target areas, including special tax breaks or exemptions for those who start businesses or relocate businesses to these areas.
Establish and strengthen the network among local Makers to increase collaboration and build capacity to fill a niche in the regional economy. Host pop-up events that highlight local, small enterprises, either at their place of business or as additions to community events.