Grant & Loan Awards: Jackson County
EDGE funds to assist with construction of a new distribution facility. Systemax, Inc., a publicly traded international Fortune 1000 company and leading retailer of brand name and private label products, will locate a distribution, retail and call center operation at the 458,000 SF facility which will serve as the southeastern US distribution facility. Retail sales totals are estimated at $20 million annually. Headquartered in Port Washington, New York, the company has technology and industrial product facilities across the globe, employing more than 4,000 people.
AIRGeorgia funds to Jackson County, along with the Jackson County Airport Authority, to extend the Jackson County Airportâ€™s existing 4,108 foot runway to 5,000 feet. In addition, a 900 foot by 35 foot parallel taxiway, a 300 foot runway safety area, lighting and signage improvements will also be added. There are several Level III airports in the area, but all are more than 30 minutes away including Gwinnett (47 minutes), Winder (35 minutes), Gainesville (42 minutes) and Athens (43 minutes). Several local businesses located in Jackson County frequently require air travel, but must use one of the other four airports (or Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson) to accommodate their corporate jets. It should be noted that the City of Braselton is one of Georgiaâ€™s 10 fastest growing cities. Also, Jackson County is the 32nd fastest growing county in the U.S. and ranks number seven in Georgia.
BRIDGE funds to assist with the cost of a feasibility study to determine the economic benefits and costs of providing wireless broadband access to underserved parts of the City of Commerce and Jackson County. GA Tech's TechSmart will assist by assessing municipal and county-wide needs and economic development opportunities for broadband services. They will benchmark existing technologies and create a roadmap to include a list of tasks to be completed to assist in making informed decisions for bridging broadband needs and capacity with results. TechSmart will engage local leaders to identify technology assets and how these will contribute to business and community development and will focus on vision, goals, requirements; current technology utilization; and recommendations for action. Broadband access, currently unavailable to the city or county, will allow businesses within the county to better compete in the global marketplace.