November 16, 2022
This place is alive. It is electric. Greenville has a feeling, like we are expanding into something much bigger. Holly Olive, Illumifin Chief Operating Officer
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN ADOPTED
City Council voted unanimously to adopt an economic development strategic plan that lays the foundation for sustained growth and prosperity, to support businesses already located in the city and attract new onesThe plan puts heavy focus on entrepreneurship and innovation; talent recruitment; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and relying on the GVL2040 Comprehensive Plan to address housing affordability and transportation.
Businesses like Illumifin are choosing Greenville because of its forward-thinking approach to development policy. The insurance service provider moved their global headquarters to the West End in April, spending $2.5 to renovate a downtown building. Illumifin employs 200 people locally and 3000 around the world.
Development of the strategic plan included extensive analysis of the region’s economy, demographics, growth and educational attainment and opportunities. "If there was ever a place that was vibrant and growing, it would be downtown Greenville," said Illumifin Chief Operating Officer Holly Olive.
Targeted outreach included roundtable discussions with residents, business owners, elected officials, economic development partners and university leaders. Two surveys were conducted, one for businesses and one for citizens.
Seven key goals were identified:
1. Upstate innovation: bring Greenville entrepreneurs, innovators and investors together in a best-in-class entrepreneurial ecosystem.
2. Investment for the future: attract new investment to diversify and strengthen Greenville’s economy and foster prosperity.
3. A launching pad for talent: build and support a talent base of “doers, thinkers and makers”
4. A place for everybody: ensure all Greenville residents and enterprises can thrive, making diversity, equity and inclusion a part of the economic development plan.
5. Maintaining livability: rely on GVL2040 to guide Greenville’s focus on housing affordability, transportation and mobility.
6. Intentional placemaking: preserve and celebrate Greenville as a preeminent lifestyle destination.
7. Effective implementation: adopt an economic development organizational structure that effectively supports the implementation of this strategy.
Strategies include targeting small business and retail in underserved corridors and neighborhoods; investing in additional community gathering spaces; preserving Greenville’s tree canopy and open spaces; advocate for career and technical education; continue promoting Greenville’s brand and image.
"This is a hot spot for customers," Olive said. "The fun thing about Greenville is there are so many fun places to show them. At Illumifin we are a little like Greenville, we still want to feel like a family, I still want to know everyone's name. Greenville still has that family feeling, but boy does it have a feeling of we are expanding into something bigger."
Implementation of the plan begins immediately with local, regional and statewide partners.