The Town of Johnston and the non-profit Johnston Development Corp. have agreed to partner on a strategic plan aimed at enhancing the economic development of the historic town.
The Strategic Plan will identify socioeconomic characteristics and business advances that will benefit the town’s future economic growth and development. It will also include a current economic analysis, competitive and internal analysis, a SWOT matrix (identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), goals, and strategies. Finally, strategy implementation and policy recommendations will be provided.
The Development Corp. Board researched the best possible way to rebuild Johnston’s future economic growth. Their research showed that two University of South Carolina Aiken professors, Dr. Salena Porca and Dr. Julie Steen, have done many studies that have proven to be beneficial in the government and non-profit sectors.
The Development Corp. Board, which also sponsors the Town’s annual Peach Blossom Festival, voted unanimously to pay half of the $20,000 cost. The nonprofit group brought the proposal to the Johnston Town Council, which also unanimously approved funding the other half of this study in a meeting held earlier this week.
Johnston Mayor Terrence Culbreath said he and the Town Council are appreciative of the Development Corp. searching for ways to improve the Town vitality.
“Small towns across America are disappearing, while the rest are trying to find new ways to not only survive but also thrive!” Mayor Culbreath said. “In our case, I believe this Strategic Plan will layout a path that will give us an excellent opportunity to help our Town, our citizens, and businesses prosper. I’m excited about the possibilities.”
Dean Campbell, Development Corp. Board Chairman, agreed, adding that while many towns complain about their economic condition, he is pleased that Johnston, citizens and government officials are joining together to see all the opportunities that can be incorporated to move the town forward.
“I believe when this Strategic Study is complete, we will have a plan we can execute toward the goal of making Johnston better in so many areas,” Campbell said. “We are appreciative of the Town’s active participation and leadership.”
The study will include an in-depth look at many statistical factors. However, it will include input from government officials, community leaders, citizens, and other stakeholders, including a Town Hall-style meeting to gather citizen opinions.
This study is expected to be completed in April of next year.
The Johnston Development Corporation, a non-profit volunteer organization, works to aid the community in areas such as economic development, education, recreation, historic preservation, tourism, scientific and cultural opportunities, and continued promotion of Johnston.