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Hardeeville taps firm to market city

  • Special Retail Strategies, LLC is based out of Birmingham, Ala., and has partnered with the city of Hardeeville on a three-year, $120,000 agreement.

Hardeeville’s city council is working to create a desirable and thriving community that is competitive in housing, economics and industry.

At the March 2 meeting, Hardeeville City Council passed a resolution to enter into a contract with Retail Strategies, LLC, a marketing and consulting firm based in Birmingham, Ala. The contract is for three years, at $40,000 per year.

“We identify the type of national retail, commercial organizations we want to attract and, based upon the demographic information that they collect, we will go out and pursue those specific entities and try to get them to locate within the city,” said city manager Mike Czymbor about the city’s goals working with Retail Strategies.

The company will be responsible for identifying potential businesses that can succeed in Hardeeville. These could be retail stores, services, or restaurants. The company will conduct focus groups and other research to understand what the city’s residents need and want.

Once the metrics — such as demographics, expendable income, traffic volume — are determined, they can be matched to specific businesses.

“We will go out and try to solicit those businesses for specific properties we have in the city,” Czymbor said. “They’ll (Retail Strategies) be working directly with the city — actively working with the property owners, developers — for all the property that is available from the city.”

The success of the partnership with Retail Strategies will not be seen immediately; it will take time to do research and target potential business clients, but the council is optimistic.

“We are expecting a lot of productivity, and it is in keeping with our stated goal of being proactive in having our vision be realized in the city,” said Hardeeville Mayor Harry Williams.

With the introduction of new businesses to the city, it hopes to see an influx of residents. At the recent State of Jasper County breakfast, Williams said the city’s population could triple in 10 years.

“People want to have amenities, people want to move closer to restaurants, shopping, other job providers — you want to have those available to you,” Czymbor said. “The more of those that we can offer obviously makes the community more attractive.”

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