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The CREATE Cohort graduates in Gainesville.

Gainesville, GA hosted the final session of our two-year C.R.E.A.T.E. Program

CREATE-ing entrepreneurial ecosystems for rural communities.

Gainesville Trolley

Through CREATE (Cultivating Rural Entrepreneurs and Transforming Economies) and other rural initiatives, Georgia Power Community & Economic Development helps rural and small towns across Georgia plan for sustainable growth. Scott Purvis, Community Manager, South Region, has been working with local communities for over thirty years and understands their challenges and opportunities.

Our 2022-2023 inaugural CREATE Cohort is made up of six communities: Baldwin, Bleckley, Hart, Pickens, Polk, and Toombs County. The program’s recent September session hosted at 330 Main in Gainesville, GA was the culmination of our two-year cohort. We discussed funding opportunities for rural entrepreneurs with ACE and learned about the incredible FLEX entrepreneurship program for high schoolers before hearing from an all-star City of Gainesville panel.

CREATE Cohort Highlights

Our hosts, the City of Gainesville, GA, brought together a rock-star line-up of city employees passionate about their community to share success stories in Gainesville's entrepreneurship scene, as well as how to support these efforts on the city side. The panel was facilitated by our Northeast Region Community Development Manager, Andrew Carnes, and covered everything from an open-container district to the vast growth in residential housing in the downtown area. Gainesville is seeing significant development and over 800 apartment units are currently under construction in downtown.

CREATE panel - Gainesville

Following the panel discussion, Angela Sheppard (Assistant City Manager), Rusty Ligon (Community Development Director), Robyn Lynch (Tourism Director), and Kate Mattison (Parks & Rec Director), took the program's cohort on a walking tour and trolley ride! We were able to check out the Midland Projects and the recently opened NoFo Brewery along Gainesville's greenway, which is creating connectivity and walkability for residents in the area.

Gainesville NoFo Brewery

Coming to a Close

"Thank you for the opportunity to participate! Georgia Power has been a big part of our entrepreneurial efforts from day one. We look forward to moving forward together!" - Michele Johnson, President of the Greater Vidalia Chamber of Commerce

We can't wait to check back in with our communities next year to see just how far their entrepreneurial ecosystems have come!

CREATE is just one of the ways that our team supports community growth. Explore our services or contact your regional community manager to learn more.

Upcoming Events - Rural Prosperity Summit

Please join us for the Georgia Chamber's Rural Prosperity Summit in Athens on October 3rd and 4th. We look forward to seeing you there!