GEDCO adds another tool in economic toolbox

The right data could be crucial in driving return on investment for Gladewater Economic Development Corporation – and, perhaps, for its partners in city hall and the chamber of commerce.
GEDCO’s board members gave unanimous approval March 13 on the organization’s subscription to StreetLight Data services, approximately $6,000 for the firm’s Corridor Study Package.
In particular, the program focuses on travel counts, GEDCO Executive Director Michelle Palmer said, which she hopes would have enough value for the City of Gladewater and Gladewater Chamber of Commerce to help the EDC offset its upfront payout for the service.
“The corridor study offers multiple types of origin and destination modules,” Palmer noted. “We can get data on where people came from and where they’re going which is very important when you’re looking at where they want to market, what you want to target.
“This will tell us what we’re getting the most traffic from.”
Verified data about route usage can help the city prioritize its infrastructure improvements, she added, while also shoring up the various organization marketing efforts – Does the data show strategies are working or that they should be modified?
Notably, prior traffic studies have already shown a dramatic, albeit unsurprising, increase in activity due to the Gladewater Round-Up Rodeo. Similar data on a broader scale could be put to use in a variety of ways.
Likewise, a recent ping data investment by the Gladewater chamber has yielded promising numbers.
With GEDCO’s new investment, “We’ve got more tools in our toolbelt to make sure our decisions are strategic,” Palmer said, “and we’ve got data to back them up.”
In addition to a closed door discussion of a still-developing ‘Project Gray Rock,’ the GEDCO directors took action on local banking and investing minutiae and officially approved two requests for emergency assistance.
Green-lit during their previous meeting, the grants help a pair of local businesses impacted by the closure of Hwy. 271 during water main repairs – Lay Low Automotive and Brew to Revive have both received one-off grants of $1,000.
GEDCO’s directors subsequently signed off on the creation of an ongoing ‘Urgent Assistance Grant Program’ with limited funds available to assist businesses on a case-by-case basis.
The group also voted to invest $5,000 from GEDCO’s promotional budget on the pricetag of approximately $20,000 shared with the city ($5,000), chamber (about $5000) and a private donor ($5,000) for a new downtown Christmas tree. Separately, the GEDCO board allocated another $6,000 for promotion of the Round-up Rodeo.

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