Chamber launches Atlanta Metro Export Plan
Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Hala Moddlemog, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (center) and JP Morgan Chase Georgia Market Chair David Balos show off a check for $300,000 that JP Morgan Chase awarded as a grant to support the Atlanta Metro Export plan.
It’s official! The Atlanta Metro Export Plan is live.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber launched the MEP, as the plan is known, at a press conference Wednesday, June 3. In short, the goal of the plan is to increase jobs, quantitatively and qualitatively, in metro Atlanta by increasing the 29-county region’s export intensity. Export intensity refers to exports as a percentage of economic output (think Gross Domestic Product on a regional level). The strategy driving the plan is that growing jobs will grow company revenues and growing company revenues will strengthen Metro Atlanta’s economic base. Worldwide Editing helped to write the MEP. We also offered consulting advice on structuring the report based on our background in journalism, marketing and branding. A key component of our suggestions was to begin the written report with a letter of introduction showing that the business community, the city of Atlanta and the state support the plan. Chamber President and CEO Hala Moddlemog, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr supported the suggestion and signed off on the letter. The three layers of support are critical because the plan is truly a regional plan for a very large geographical area with a diversifed business base which does not have a single dominant industry sector. That area extends outward from the core city to suburban and exurban areas that cover the majority of North Georgia. To put into perspective how large this area is, it is essentially a third of the population of Georgia, which is the largest state in land mass east of the Mississippi River. In our opinion, this region is significantly different in size and scope than any of the seven other metro regions that were also invited to produce an MEP. These MEPs are part of a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase as part of their Global Cities initiative (GCI). The initiative is a nationwide effort to grow exports in the country’s metro regions. This is important because 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Participating in the GCI is especially important for metro Atlanta because in 2014 the region ranked 75 out of the 100 top U.S. metros in export intensity. “Seventy-five out of 100 doesn’t work for us,” Moddlemog said at the press conference. To help the area improve on its export ranking, David Balos, Georgia market president for Chase, announced a $300,000 grant from Chase at the press conference to support the MEP. We’ve got great resources to make the plan a success, Balos said in announcing the grant. “All this [plan] is doing is pulling all of that information together and making it more accessible.” That information is available on the plan’s website: www.AtlantaExportPortal.com. The next step will be to take the plan to business groups and individual businesses in each of the 29 counties to encourage their participation in what the Chamber, the city and the state all see as a truly regional effort. This will happen through three SWAT committees. Worldwide Editing has volunteered for two of those committees: “Road shows” throughout the region and marketing and branding. We look forward to updating you on those efforts after we hit the road!