Georgia College increased its impact on the regional economy to more than $235 million for fiscal year 2015, according to a study commissioned by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The economic impact of the university extended to Baldwin, Hancock, Putnam, Wilkinson, Jones and Washington counties.
Quote: “There are several ways that the university impacts the economy,” said Johnny Grant, director of economic development and external relations at Georgia College. “The more than 800 jobs on campus and the payroll associated with them is extremely important. In addition, it is estimated that almost 2,000 jobs are created off campus by the products and services Georgia College’s employees and students purchase each year.”
Economic impact is measured by the initial spending of the institution for operations and personnel as well as student spending. The total economic impact includes the effect of initial spending and the secondary or indirect and induced spending that occurs when initial expenditures are re-spent.
The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business analyzed data collected between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 to determine economic impact.
Georgia College recently received a $63,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) The USDA Rural Business Development grant will enable rural counties in Georgia to overcome significant challenges, including size; limited financial, technological, and human resources; and limited exposure to the global marketplace, by partnering with Georgia College’s CODEC to develop e-commerce websites, effective social media pages and enhanced search engine optimization of their websites.
“The grant project is based on the fact that central Georgia’s small businesses play a crucial role in contributing to the region’s economic recovery,” said Caroline Collier, Center of Design and E-Commerce (CODEC) director and lecturer in the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science. “With a change in marketing techniques and expansion into global markets using e-commerce services made possible through CODEC, we hope that new businesses will once again thrive in central Georgia.”
CODEC will educate rural businesses on how to develop e-commerce websites, create effective social media pages and improve search engine optimization (SEO) of their websites using simple tutorial videos. The center will provide on-site support and assistance as well as a series of three tutorial videos for businesses to use featuring an e-commerce series, social media series and SEO series. Students from the Department of Mass Communication will film and edit the tutorial videos.
This project will also include students from a large spectrum of majors like management, information systems, computer science, mass communication and marketing. The project will benefit students by giving them hands-on experience in their fields, while also benefiting small businesses located in rural counties in Georgia.