How did Fitzgerald gain its current stature? A survey of local business and industry captains yielded six common answers:
- Reasonable Business Costs
- Excellent Educational Facilities
- Innovative Financing Packages
- Exceptional Quality of Life
- 178 miles south of Atlanta, the commercial hub of the South.
- Located along one of the main lines of the CSX Seaboard System railroad (Atlanta-Jacksonville line).
- Piggyback rail service available in Cordele (48 miles) and Savannah (155 miles).
- Only 20 miles east of Interstate 75, the Southeast's major north-south artery.
- Georgia Highway 107, the direct connector to I-75, accommodates trucks of every size.
- Nearest navigable river, the Flint (9-foot channel depth), has a barge dock at Bainbridge (100 miles).
- Major ports at Savannah, Brunswick, and Jacksonville (FL) are within 150 miles.
Fitzgerald Municipal Airport provides a 5,000-feet paved, lighted runway with parallel taxiway for corporate aircraft. The airport is equipped with modern navigational and weather aids including Rwy 1/19 NDB approach w/ODALS, VASI, ground communications outlet and AWOS-III. The fixed-base operation located in the new 4,500 SF Terminal provides 24-hour fuel service (Jet-A; 100LL), tie-down, Tee Hangar and local ground transportation. Certifies A&P mechanics serve local and transient customers with airframe and power-plant needs. Commercial Air Service is available at Albany's Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.
Our people provide a head start to industries wishing to settle here. The stability and productivity of our recruitable labor force (greater than 4,400 persons) are an impressive base upon which to build a business.
Coachman Industries (trailers), Eaton-Aeroquip (plastics), and Gilman Paper Company have been repeatedly cited for their low production costs and high efficiency ratings when compared to similar plants across the country. This record of efficiency can be attributed to several positive factors: low tax rates, low utility costs, reasonable wages in a non-union atmosphere, a conscientious labor force, and low-interest development authority financing packages for land, buildings, and equipment. Incentives such as the availability of land sites and utilities below market value make Fitzgerald even more attractive. The multiple advantages of the 100% freeport exemption also save our industries' tax dollars.
To help train your employees, the Wiregrass Technical College (located in southern Ben Hill County) provides students with Georgia's innovative "Quick Start" program. This exciting concept saves industries valuable time and money, both before and after the plant start-up date. More than 20 diverse programs of study are available at Wiregrass. More important, specific corporate needs can be met if an industry has a special training requirement. Incoming business persons will be happy to know that the Fitzgerald public school system consistently ranks as a statewide leader. There are also four junior colleges and four state universities within a 90-mile radius of Fitzgerald:
- Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
- Albany State University
- Darton College
- Fort Valley State University
- Georgia Southwestern State University
- Middle Georgia College
- South Georgia College
- Valdosta State University
To accommodate people who work during the day, evening/distance learning courses are available from several of the institutions.
As they have been for the past 25 years, financing packages are utilized to assist 95% of the industries located in Fitzgerald. Such tools as Industrial Revenue Bonds, SBA, conventional financing, and local equity are available, and a combination of several of these financing options may be required. The leaders of our Industrial Development Authority continually monitor tax law regulations to ensure that we are able to provide the best new techniques for prospects or existing industries desiring expansion.
The quality of life you and your family will enjoy is one of the most visible and pleasing assets of Fitzgerald. Expect caring neighbors, well-groomed neighborhoods, and endless recreational opportunities--not to mention a year-round moderate climate.