At the heart of business and the community are the Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and the Enterprise Coffee Geneva Economic Development Corporation. Working in partnership with the city, the Chamber and ECGEDC provide a positive climate for business and community development. In 2012, Policom Corporation ranked the Enterprise-Ozark Micropolitan area as the strongest economy in Alabama and 28th strongest of 576 in America. This places Enterprise-Ozark in the top five percent in the nation.
The Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, Inc. has been the voice of the business and community since it was founded in 1941. Accredited by the U.S. Chamber, the Chamber is actively involved in economic and community development, including business recruitment, retirees, tourism, military affairs, agriculture, education, technology and downtown revitalization. The Chamber continues to work on defining and meeting the needs of businesses and the community.
Founded in 1994, the Enterprise Coffee Geneva Economic Development Corp. is a public-private partnership that represents the local government and a diverse section of the Enterprise business and industry community. ECGEDC works to help develop and recruit new industry expand and diversify existing industry, and promote economic development for the city of Enterprise, the city of Daleville and the counties of Coffee and Geneva. ECGEDC is located in the business incubator building at Yancey Parker Industrial Park as part of a continual effort to help new and expanding business development in the region.
Residents can be justifiably proud of city government. The municipality functions with a mayor/council system of government and quality administrators. They continually strive to provide the most comprehensive services available for the tax dollars spent. The population of the city of Enterprise has grown 25.4 percent since 2000 and continues to be one of the fastest-growing communities in the state. This rapid growth and economic strength led to Enterprise being named “Alabama Boom Town of the Year” in 2010.
Economic diversity and adaptation has been a common theme in Enterprise since its inception over a century ago. When the Boll Weevil devastated the cotton harvests in 1915, the farmers of Coffee County learned to react, adapt and diversify. That ingenuity is still alive and well, represented in the agricultural offerings found throughout Enterprise. While peanuts and poultry have been around for nearly 100 years, other agricultural commodities include cattle, cotton, dairy, hay, corn, forage crops, oats, vegetables and many others. Today, the Enterprise economy is split evenly between agriculture/agribusiness, military, industry, retail and service industries, with each sector claiming approximately 20 percent of the economy.
Today, Coffee County accounts for about $200 million worth of agricultural and agribusiness products per year. Farm Futures magazine has ranked Coffee County the No. 1 agricultural producer in the state of Alabama, and in the top 100 of nearly 3,000 counties nationally. This statistic is truly amazing considering that Enterprise is a growing urban area and has other industries. But since Enterprise participates heavily in farm-city type activities, it ensures that everything possible is done to promote strong relationships between the urban and farm communities.
While the Enterprise area is still one of the leading agricultural producers in the state of Alabama, there is also a diverse business and industrial sector that flourishes throughout the region. Enterprise is home to a vast array of large and small businesses throughout the city. Major industries include aviation, peanut processing, automotive, textiles, electronics, die-cast metal, truck trailers and poultry processing.
A major source of employment in the area is Fort Rucker, home of Army Aviation. Situated seven miles from Enterprise, Fort Rucker provides training for helicopter pilots. Centers for related aviation research and development are also located on the post. Fort Rucker has a post population of approximately 20,000 and an active duty military strength of 5,000. In 2011, Fort Rucker’s annual budget exceeded $1.2 billion.
The oldest industry in Enterprise is the Sessions Company. This fourth-generation, family-owned company began operation in 1917. Today the company is still an important buyer and seller of peanuts and peanut products.
Enterprise is also the birthplace of the world’s first Doppler weather radar. Founded by a group of radar engineers in 1971, Enterprise Electronics Corporation manufactures meteorological radar systems for markets around the world. With a constant focus on innovation, public safety and improving weather prediction, EEC developed the revolutionary Doppler weather radar system in 1981. As winner of the 2010 Governor’s Trade Excellency Award, EEC is a multi-million-dollar corporation with more than 850 radar installations in the U.S. and 80 other countries.
Enterprise is also home to H.S. Alabama Automotive, a tier one supplier for Hyundai Motors, located in the Yancey Parker Industrial Park. The Enterprise plant is the first location in the U.S. for this South Korean-based company.
Other employers that play an important role in the diverse economic community of Enterprise include: