Thursday, May 7, 2020
Economic Development Week is an opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see what is driving economic growth. Most people see the investments, such as roads and infrastructure, the town has made to shape its successful community, but they might miss the nuances that make Holly Springs a unique environment for business. Holly Springs is using innovative technology to stand out from other municipalities, making the town attractive to companies looking for locations that are constantly evolving and looking to the future.
Holly Springs is a part of a regional smart cities program that recently won a 2020 Smart Cities North America Award for its innovative use of technology in the smart water category. A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare. Holly Springs, like many urban areas, deals with flooding during major rain events and hurricanes. Working closely with town engineering and stormwater experts, the Holly Springs Economic Development Department devised a way to install Green Stream sensors in historically flood-prone creeks so staff could monitor water levels from afar and anticipate flooding before it happens.
"You might wonder what flooding issues have to do with economic development," said Anna Johnston, Holly Springs Economic Development Project Manager. "Companies want to be located in communities that are positioned ahead of the curve. Towns that use technology to keep things running smoothly, mean fewer disruptions to their work."
Going from technology in the water to technology in the sky, Holly Springs is also on the cutting edge of drone technology. Holly Springs and Flytrex, along with the N.C. Department of Transportation and a team of industry and government partners, are part of a three-year national program to test innovative uses of drones. This is especially important in light of the challenges everyone is facing during the national health crisis. Drones are being tested to fly food to seniors or immune-compromised people who are home-bound, and drones are also being used to simulate in-person site visits by companies looking to relocate to Holly Springs.
"Continuing to innovate keeps us resilient," said Johnston. "Nobody could have predicted this disruption to our economy, but we have all the infrastructure in place to thrive again. Even in the midst of this health crisis, our department is still receiving inquiries from companies interested in building or relocating to Holly Springs during this time, creating the potential of future jobs and taxable investment for the Town."
Learn more about innovative technology in Holly Springs
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Holly Springs Economic Development continues to serve our local business community and remains available to assist your business. Please feel free to contact us directly.