Rockport is paving the way to creating an Economic Development Corporation with goals to attract more businesses to the coastal city and a specific workforce.
“By bringing in workforce and by bringing in extra households that will move to this community,” said Jatin Bhakta, chairman of the Rockport Chamber of Commerce.
Most cities already have EDC’s, and Rockport has tried to create one in previous years.
“It’s been tried but it just hasn’t succeeded because of the funding,” said Bhakta
This time however, the EDC would be funded by the private industry and private companies.
“A lot of communities use sales tax to fund their EDC but we’re capped out on our sales tax,” said Bhakta.
The goal of the EDC would be to stimulate economic growth in the city by helping ease the process to any business looking to plant their roots in Rockport; giving the city the economic boost it needs.
After the hurricane, the city saw a large decline in tourism and small businesses found it hard to stay open.
“A lot of businesses couldn’t operate after the storm,” said Bhakta.
And with a growing economy, he hopes this will also attract a broader and larger tax base.
“I think that’s one of the keys that we’re after; to bring down a younger more qualified work force” said Bhakta.