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Development Authority of Dawson County receives $50,000 grant for Economic Development Strategic Plan

velopment Authority of Dawson County receives $50,000 grant for Economic Development Strategic Plan
DAWSONVILLE, GEORGIA- November 19, 2019:  The Development Authority of Dawson County was presented a check for $50,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) last Thursday to support the completion of an economic development strategic plan.

The presented check provides fifty percent of the funding for the total grant project which supports the development of a professional strategic plan for economic development for Dawson County. Once completed, the strategic plan will include a target industry analysis to encourage the attraction of high quality jobs, an analysis of potential locations and infrastructure needs for future light industrial and office growth, a strategy to maintain the destination retail position Dawson County currently holds, and recommendations for green/open space acquisition to maintain the high quality of life that is so important to local citizens.   Community engagement will be a key element throughout all stages of plan development.
“The Development Authority has been working hard behind the scenes with the Chamber to develop a comprehensive, strategic approach to our economic development efforts.  We’re excited that the ARC has recognized these efforts and our potential by funding a substantial portion of our strategic planning process,” said Development Authority Chairman, Brian Trapnell. “The result will be a professionally developed, multi-year document outlining how we can grow as a community while maintaining the quality of life important to Dawson County residents and businesses.  The future of economic development and the resulting opportunities for our residents in our community is bright and the ARC grant is one more exciting step in helping us move forward to that future.”
The check was presented at the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission’s November meeting which was held at Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville. The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) is a strategic partner of the Development Authority and Chamber and assisted in writing the grant.  The GMRC Economic Development Division assists communities with economic and community development, asset based development, social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, and workforce development needs that lead to the creation and maintenance of employment opportunities for residents, a strong tax base for local governments, and a safe, secure, and viable community.
The funding for this study is drawn from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The work of the ARC specifically serves to strengthen the economy and improve living standards in the Appalachian region which includes 420 counties across 13 states.  The ARC has funded numerous projects over the years that have supported job creation, encouraged business development, increased education and job training opportunities, and improved telecommunications, infrastructure and transportation in the Georgia Mountains Region.  In the last five years, the ARC has invested $6 million in funding and has leveraged $7.8 million in local funds, created 1,089 jobs, retained 685 jobs and generated $218 million in private investment for the region.
The Development Authority of Dawson County issued a request for proposals for the development of the strategic plan, which will be the first of its kind for this community, in October and expects to select a firm by December. The planning process and community engagement sessions will begin in January 2020.  The final plan is expected to be delivered in August 2020. 

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