On December 12th, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jay Revell appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart. Revell and Stewart discussed the Chamber’s rcent position statement in support of exploring an Independent Airport Authority, the Blueprint Gateway project, and Tallahassee’s current business climate.
The interview aired on WVFT 93.3 FM and Facebook Live. The video is available here.
Throughout the interview, Revell illustrated the Chamber’s positions on community issues. He emphasized attracting talent as one of the Chamber’s guiding principles when taking positions on new policies.
“Companies are going to go where people want to be, and we need to make sure that, when we are engaging new policies for our community, that considering what that does or doesn’t do to our ability to attract top talent should be a top priority,” Revell said.
One community issue the Chamber has taken a position on is supporting an independent airport authority. The Chamber proposed that the City conducts a study to assess the current model of the airport and compare it to competitors. However, in April the City of Tallahassee decided not to move forward with a governance feasibility study which was estimated to cost $150,000.
Revell described the rationale behind the Chamber’s support of the study.
“Let’s see if the model that we have is built for the future or for the past,” Revell said. “We want to make sure that we’re moving into arenas where we excel at everything we do, and we should study and figure out what the best way to do this is.”
Stewart and Revell also discussed the Blueprint Gateway project, which Revell expressed support for.
“What that project gives us an opportunity to do is build one of the best possible first impressions we can from one of the key gateways into our community,” Revell said.
He added that it will leverage Tallahassee’s existing assets and allow new visitors to see the best parts of the city, including competitive advantages like the MagLab.
At the end of the show, Revell commented on Tallahassee’s current business climate, noting that it is “good, getting better” and that employment rates are high.
Looking to the future, he reiterated the importance of attracting talent to the area.
“We continue to see that for us to be successful in the long term here in our community, growing business, growing the community, growing the economy, we’re going to have to take talent retention and talent growth very, very seriously,” he said.