Haywood Economic Development Council
Annual Report 2016
The Haywood County Economic Development Council is an arm of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce since July 2014, previously it was a county department.
The Council currently includes representatives from the four county municipalities, as well as representatives from the Haywood Advancement Foundation, Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, Haywood County Board of Commissioners, local businesses and industry. This structure allows a collaborative effort between governmental entities, local businesses and draws support from the County Commissioners.
Mark Clasby, Executive Director of the Haywood EDC and the Haywood Advancement Foundation, has been very active, meeting with prospects for new and existing businesses in the county, while negotiating the sale and development of county properties. Much time is also spent with CarolinaWest visits with site consultants and developers in various locations around the state and U.S.
The EDC was involved in 2016 in the twelfth Business Plan Competition with the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, which awards up to $10,000 to new businesses in Haywood County. This competition will be repeated in 2017.
The EDC office also updates and prints an annual “Brief Economic Facts” flyer that is available to the public, which offers demographics and information about Haywood County.
The Buy Haywood Agritourism Guide was published again in cooperation with the Haywood Tourism Development Authority to promote agriculture and tourism in Haywood County.
The Beaverdam Industrial Park 10-acre shovel-ready site is currently available for occupancy.
Chick fil A opened a new store in Waynesville this past year, creating 80+ new jobs.
Mr. Clasby is involved in the NC Economic Developers Association and serves as a past President and as a member of the Economic Development Partnership of NC’s Advisory Board. Mr. Clasby is also a member of the TDA Board.
A broadband committee has been formed which has met with local providers, conducted a survey to determine locations in the county that are not being met by broadband and are making progress with providing Haywood County with more broadband connectivity to the underserved and unserved of the County.
Haywood County is again categorized as a Tier 3 county in regards to qualifying for state incentives, which means Haywood is in the 20 most economically successful counties in the state.
The EDC is one of the county’s most proactive and involved organizations, as it relates to growing and building our economy and job base. Haywood County’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the region.
Goals for the next fiscal year include:
1) Offering for sale the 10 acres at Beaverdam Industrial Park
2) Making more business development trips with CarolinaWest
3) Encouraging entrepreneurial enterprises and working with existing businesses to assist them in their growth, which in turn will aid in improving the quality of life for the citizens of Haywood County.
4) Assisting in bringing affordable workforce housing to Haywood County
5) Expanding broadband connectivity to areas of Haywood County that are currently underserved and unserved.
6) Developing a list of private investors who will support Economic Development in the county.
7) Identifying potential land for development and matching requests for potential business development with available properties.