In Underserved Communities, Small Numbers Can Add Up to Big Econ Dev Wins

Tennessee has a big-time gigabit winner. No, not them, Pulaski. Sure, Chattanooga gets a mountain of media coverage. But Pulaski, TN is no slouch in the success department, even if many people don’t know them. However, the town measures success in small numbers.

One of the on-going discussions regarding broadband and economic development is, do we focus more resources initially on trying to attract new business, or on improving the businesses we already have. The media tends to give more coverage to attracting new companies, probably because a company bringing 1000 new jobs is big news.

Similar to many small towns and rural counties, Pulaski’s emphasis is more on existing business. “The golden rule of economic development is, take care of what you got,” states Dan Speer, Executive Director of the Pulaski Giles County Economic Development Council. Take care of your existing companies first. There’s no question they will use it. If you’re lucky enough to get a company to come in because of the broadband, then that’s gravy.”

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