Prattville, AL Business Sectors
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord
While the rest of Alabama, and the nation, continue to recover from the recent economic downturn, Prattville is posting solid growth numbers and looking to stay ahead of the curve.
Prattville Offers Multifaceted Local Economy
Economic development and local officials point to many reasons why Prattville and Autauga County are coming back faster than similar-sized communities in the Southeast and beyond. First is a strong combined effort when it comes to business recruitment and retention, which has kept many businesses growing here while also bringing in new industry sectors. That in turn has led to a growth in population, which results in retail and restaurant development, new construction and stronger sales tax revenue. All told, it’s a winning formula, says Danny Chavers, chair of the Autauga County Commission.
“We’ve brought in new business, and with that we’ve gotten more people in and we are working to keep them all shopping in the county,” Chavers says. “It’s important for us to work to keep our city and county competitive, so we focus on areas like light industrial, where we can grow, and work with our auto suppliers and others who are already here so that we can get them to expand their operations.”
Medline, Whitney Bank Add New Jobs
Major new business additions include health-care manufacturer and distributor Medline Industries’ first Alabama distribution center, a new, 350,000-square-foot facility at Prattville South Industrial Park; and Whitney Bank, which has relocated dozens of jobs to its Prattville operation.
“Medline is our first distribution center, and it’s a LEED-certified building, so it does a lot for us,” says Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. “Whitney’s move helps us grow those white-collar, data center jobs. Many companies are bringing those jobs back onshore, and we are doing some behind-the-scenes legwork to ensure that we have the opportunity to showcase our community so that those will come our way.”
High Point Town Center, Exchange Lead Retail Sector
Prattville’s shopping centers also continue to thrive, with everything from the historic downtown district to the larger malls of High Point Town Center and the new Exchange posting strong numbers. Having that mix of small- and large-scale shopping destinations is a key selling point for economic development, says Jeremy L. Arthur, executive vice president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The downtown area is home to numerous unique boutiques, antique shops and eateries,” Arthur says. “Our downtown merchants work tirelessly to promote our community, and these ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses are the foundation for entrepreneurs as small business owners.”
On the larger side, “We are one of very few communities in the state to continue to open new retail venues,” says Connie Bainbridge, the chamber’s president and director of economic development. “Our community has become a regional retail destination while serving our local residents as well.”
All this combines to produce a community with strong forward momentum, something Mayor Byard wants to promote far and wide.
“We want to get people here and show them our tremendous workforce, our competitive taxes, our low energy rates and our quality of life,” he says. “When it comes to expanding or relocating a company, we have a tremendous amount to offer.”
Read more on Prattville, AL businesses.