Economic Development Funding Has a Strong Return on Investment for Covington County

Economic Development Funding Has a Strong Return on Investment for Covington County Main Photo

3 May 2024


The first week in May kicks off Economic Development Week (EDW), which recognizes the programs and efforts developed by the Covington County Economic Development Council (CCEDC). During this time, we reflect on how CCEDC can better serve the residents and businesses in our county. CCEDC strives to make this corner of Alabama a great place to work and play.

“Covington County is already the best place to live in Alabama, if not the entire country,” says Rick Clifton, president and CEO of CCEDC. “Our challenge is bringing employers and talent here so they can discover it for themselves.”

Strong economic development programs start with funding. By investing in your local economic development commission, you are setting the foundation for the future of Covington County. Discover the value that economic development provides and how CCEDC makes a difference. 

Economic Development Has a Proven ROI

The funding provided for economic development in Covington County is never wasted. CCEDC uses every dollar of its annual budget to bring new businesses to the county, help existing companies grow, and support local talent. Not only does CCEDC invest in programs to grow the skillsets of residents – making them more hirable – but it also works to attract new people to Covington County. This boosts the overall workforce and makes the region more desirable to employers.

Look no further than the University of Alabama to understand the value of economic development. The state of Alabama gets $17.51 back for every $1 that this flagship institution invests in the region. By investing in the state, the University of Alabama grows in its prestige, student body, and staff.

“Covington County can expect to see similar results by investing in economic development,” says Clifton. “Every new employer in the county contributes tax dollars to valuable programs, creates jobs, and makes our towns more desirable places to live.” 

Our Efforts Have a Direct Impact on Covington County Residents

People often focus on the macroeconomic side of development, which means they think about major employers and tax dollars. However, CCEDC has a real impact on every resident in the region.

The statewide economic development efforts of Governor Kay Ivy created 78,000 jobs between 2017 and 2022. As a result, Alabama currently has one of the lowest jobless rates in its history. Economic development efforts reduce unemployment rates, allowing residents of Alabama to better support themselves and their families.

“Covington County residents who currently have jobs can also benefit from CCEDC efforts,” says Clifton. “Job training programs and employer recruitment can help people grow their skills and increase their earning potential. Our efforts turn jobs into lasting careers. We work closely with our workforce partners to make this happen.” 

Funding Makes Covington County Competitive Nationally 

While economic development has countless benefits from tax revenue to improved quality of life in the region, it requires community buy-in and funding. Without support from the Covington County governments, businesses, and residents, CCEDC cannot help it grow.

“Every town and county across the United States is facing the same challenges,” says Clifton. “They are all fighting to bring employers to the area and make sure their residents have good jobs. Companies aren't going to come to us. We have to go out and bring them here. We are not just in competition locally, but regionally, nationally, and internationally!”

The staff at CCEDC spends a significant portion of the year traveling to meet with business owners and networking within target industries. These efforts have brought industry and retail businesses to the County.  

Become a CEDC Partner Today

The Covington County Economic Development Commission cannot function without support from our Economic Development Partners. By joining our list of partners, you can actively contribute to growth in the county. No business is too small to make a difference and every entrepreneur contributes something to Covington County. Follow our work throughout the year and contact us today to contribute to our efforts.