Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee By Choice: Where Everyone Has A Seat At The Table

April 20, 2018

Cherokee County offers the quintessential environment for business, career, and life to take off.

It’s a place where the energy of cutting-edge business leaders and new start-ups combine with the comfortable pace of green space and outdoors, giving you ample room to breathe.  It’s a place where you can live like a local and take your business global.

It doesn’t take long to discover what makes this place so exceptional, and why so many are creating their own tailor-made experience. Cherokee offers a unique opportunity for companies starting up, relocating or expanding to experience the right balance of commerce and lifestyle.

That’s Cherokee By Choice.

This past year, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) announced the launch of the Cherokee By Choice Economic Development Initiative, a five-year public-private partnership and economic growth campaign that transforms big ideas into action.

Over the next five years, the Cherokee By Choice Initiative – which seeks a record-breaking $2 million in financial investments – will redefine what it means to live and work in Cherokee. This bold partnership reinforces Cherokee’s position as an economic powerhouse through investments in business recruitment/retention/expansion and entrepreneurship growth. Other key investments include specialty-tailored land/infrastructure assistance and planning, an interactive clearinghouse for internships and job opportunities, and the creation of a comprehensive master plan for future economic development.

As COED’s first-ever public-private initiative aimed at transforming the county’s economic landscape, Cherokee By Choice is the answer to many of Cherokee’s most pressing challenges.

Cherokee County has a highly-educated and skilled workforce, but nearly 80 percent of working-age residents leave the county for work every single morning. Not only is that a lot of cars on the road, but it’s a major missed opportunity for local industries who are currently looking to fill open positions. Here’s the good news – the Cherokee By Choice Economic Development Campaign works to connect local businesses that need enthusiastic employees with qualified, exceptional talent to reduce the overall out-commute of talent and resources that leave the county.

As local job opportunities are created and businesses become fully staffed, they also need room to grow. Companies looking to locate or expand need move-in ready space that can serve various needs such as office space, manufacturing, and warehouses. To address this need, COED is working to make space available for more businesses to expand and make Cherokee home.

With room to breathe and space to grow, large corporations and international companies are quickly taking note. Inalfa Roof Systems, Jaipur Living, and the adidas SPEEDFACTORY recently settled into the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park, but they’re not the only ones choosing Cherokee. The Circuit, Cherokee’s first ever co-working space opened its doors last year to give entrepreneurs a sense of community while launching start-ups close to home.

Great ideas take time to incubate and grow. That’s why COED created Fresh Start Cherokee, an initiative focused on providing entrepreneurial education for our next generation and growth support for our next wave of innovators and start-ups. Fresh Start Cherokee provides a comfortable environment where entrepreneurs can collaborate and develop innovative solutions through programs such as the Creative Problem-Solvers meet-up, monthly Lunch Circuit, and 1 Million Cups Cherokee.  After all, many of life’s greatest breakthroughs often come over a warm cup of coffee or lunch with friends.

While these programs – and many others – are moving Cherokee forward, there is still more work to be done. Whether you’re a part of Cherokee’s highly-skilled workforce, an entrepreneur, a local industry leader or resident, you have a powerful role to play in Cherokee’s next wave of growth.

Be part of the spark that ignites change. Tell us why you chose to live or work in Cherokee County using the hashtag #CherokeeByChoice. Cherokee By Choice is more than a catchy tagline – it’s a movement that resonates local and inspires global. So, take your seat at the table and tell us why you chose to make Cherokee home.

Economic growth and development is a community-wide effort. Thank you to all of the public and private partners who graciously invested their time and financial resources to support Cherokee By Choice. More information about the campaign and a full list of investors can be found at http://www.cherokeega.org/campaign/.