In partnership with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute – Economic Development Research Program (EDRP) team, the FCDA is exploring the strengths and weakness of entrepreneurship and innovation in Fannin. Fannin County was recognized earlier this year as one of 10 top “resilient” communities in the U.S. by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2019. In this study, Blue Ridge and Fannin County recovered faster from the 2008 economic crisis faster than many other communities: “tempered by steady employment in the trade, transportation and utility sectors. Self-employment was the dominant sector, accounting for 43% of employment, 56th of all the counties in the U.S.” That is incredible data, and we want to be able to best support entrepreneurs, whether start-up or growing. The EDRP team is in process of conducting an in-depth analysis of the county’s economic demographic and innovation characteristics. The analysis will include results from an online survey that was sent out to the community and results from in-person interviews. Once the report is finalized and reviewed, the FCDA will work toward next steps. More to come!