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Development Authority seeking input on direction for Bulloch Co.
Survey underway, public participation requested
Follow QR Code above  to take survey.
Follow QR Code above to take survey.

After recent, unprecedented industrial recruitment gains, the Development Authority of Bulloch County is putting together an economic development strategic plan for the next five years and seeking input from Statesboro and Bulloch County residents on the direction to take in the near future.

“We knew after the pretty successful year-and-a-half or two years that we’ve had that it was a good time for us to get some help looking at a longer-term strategic plan,” said DABC Chief Executive Officer Benjy Thompson. “So last fall we hired Boyette Strategic Advisors, a consulting group out of Little Rock, Arkansas. They’ve helped us a couple of times before with other things.”

The DABC contracted the Boyette firm to help develop a five-year plan, entitled “Forward Statesboro-Bulloch,” for $81,300 plus expenses. 

Work began last fall with focus group meetings of “stakeholders,” such as representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the university and colleges and school system. The consulting firm also identified some “benchmark communities” for comparisons to Statesboro-Bulloch.

Targeted generations

Then in January, the Development Authority and Boyette Strategic Advisors launched a series of surveys for local input. The DABC obtained the cooperation of Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College to send surveys to their students.

“We’ll be surveying other groups with an emphasis on engaging Gen Zs and Millennials,” Thompson stated in an email last week. “We’re also planning to offer a Residents Survey to anyone living in Bulloch County.”

Survey now open

In fact, that online survey is now underway, and available at or via the QR code accompanying this story.

“We’re trying to identify people in the community that are Gen Z-Millennial age, you know, 18 to 43, because we feel like that’s a segment of our population that is here and doing well, but we’d like to get their opinions on how things are going and what we should be considering for the future,” Thompson said in a phone call.

“And then … we want to get input from as many residents of Bulloch County as we can, regardless of demographic,” he added.

In other words, the DABC also needs to hear from residents age 44 and up, to make the survey results complete.

The survey asks …

The first question on the survey is whether the respondent is a Bulloch County resident. If you answer “yes,” it asks where in “Statesboro-Bulloch County” you live, with options of Statesboro, Brooklet, Nevils, Portal, Register, Stilson, unincorporated Bulloch County, “other” or even if you don’t know. 

Thought questions begin with, “What is your perception of Statesboro-Bulloch County as a place to live?” and “… as a place to work?” with multiple choices from “very positive” to “very negative.”

There are long lists of markable options on questions such as “What is most important to you from a livability perspective?”; “What are the competitive advantages of Statesboro-Bulloch County?” and “What are the challenges in Statesboro-Bulloch County?” Each of those allows you to choose up to five answers, and “Other” is an option, with a space to “please specify.”

Other questions ask whether respondents are currently employed, how far they have to commute, and whether there are factors, such as childcare needs, disability, lack of transportation, lack of education or lack of jobs in their field that may limit their job options.

Demographic questions, mostly toward the end of the survey, ask about age bracket, gender, level of education, and household income (ranges, not specifics). “Prefer not to answer” is an included option on these.

A question posed early in the survey is whether you own or rent a home or have other living arrangements.

“Do you want to see more business or residential growth in Statesboro-Bulloch County?” is asked the end of the survey. Then there’s a question about optimism for the future, and finally, a space for additional comments.

The survey also appears to be open to people who do not live in Bulloch County but work here, with a slightly different range of questions.

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