South Baldwin County has a proud history and has long been known as the “Gateway to the Gulf.” From what was once a stretch of two-lane road leading to a sleepy fishing village, south Baldwin County has grown to become the destination for more than 6 million visitors each year. Those visitors leave behind an economic impact of $4.2 billion and create thousands of jobs.
Sports Tourism in Foley, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach also bring thousands of visitors and millions in economic impact; both lead to job creation. Add the impact of the OWA entertainment project to the picture and the “shoulder seasons” that have hindered our year-round growth for decades begin to level off.
Everyone knows with growth comes opportunity. We are now challenged with the price of that opportunity. This positive economic growth, balanced with community well-being, requires a long-term strategy plus bold community leadership.
Members of our business community have spoken loud and clear about their concerns regarding the future stability of our region. With an unemployment rate of 3.9% in the County, the top priorities of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce are the challenge of having an adequate supply of workforce, housing that meets the needs of all sectors of the population, support for small businesses which are the bedrock of the community, and addressing the ever-growing need for additional infrastructure.
We introduce to you, "Gateway Initiative, One Voice, One Vision, Moving South Baldwin Forward." The initiative includes three Program of Work Initiatives, each with a specific mission, detailed objectives, and projected outcomes. Led by some of the top business minds of the region, this five-year initiative will create regional partnerships to collectively address and bring solutions to Baldwin County problems. By the end of the five years, it will have a tremendous impact on the issues we all recognize must be dealt with for business to prosper.
The implementation of our Gateway Initiative began in January 2018. We invite you to join us to create a well-planned future for existing and new business to discover more opportunities and raise the quality of life for all citizens by creating the best program the United States has to offer —a good job!
President and CEO