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The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) has launched Cherokee By Choice 2.0, a strategic plan to guide the county's economic development efforts forward over the next five years.

COED first made the announcement Wednesday at the historic Canton Theatre.

"This robust plan elevates Cherokee's economic development profile while unifying the business and local community together under the 'Cherokee By Choice' brand," said COED Chairman Marshall Day.

Cherokee County launched its first economic development strategic plan, Opportunity Cherokee, in 2015, and in 2018 COED established the Cherokee by Choice initiative, its first public-private partnership.

Achievements since then include over $436 million in capital investment, creation of over 2,000 jobs, completion of Cherokee 75 Corporate Park, the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative, the Fresh Start Cherokee Program including Cherokee's first coworking space - The Circuit Woodstock, the North Atlanta Venture Mentoring Service, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, the Cherokee Film Summit, and the Forget the Commute Campaign, and more.


Tracy King Sharp with othersFrom left to right: Tracy King Sharp (Boyette Chief Operating Officer), COED Vice President Heath Tippens, Del Boyette (Boyette President & CEO), Cherokee By Choice Chairman Mark Goddard, Boyette Research Associate Riley McCorstin, and COED President Misti Martin.

Photo taken by: Bronson Kurtz - Personalized Technology Services

“Cherokee’s story is one of resilience and success – 191 years in the making,” said COED President Misti Martin. “The business community and people who call Cherokee home are second to none and together, we are building an ecosystem that serves as a launching pad for big dreams and bold action. CBC 2.0 is the next step in Cherokee’s continued success.”

Building upon this foundation, CBC 2.0 was developed in partnership with Boyette Strategic Advisors – an economic development and public policy consulting firm.

“Cherokee is a dynamic place of choice as evidenced by its substantial growth and highly rated amenities for business and residents. It’s one of America’s big surprises,” said Boyette President and CEO Del Boyette.

CBC 2.0 has identified six high-growth target sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing with a focus on green and sustainable products and medical devices
  • Headquarters, recruitment of both corporate and regional
  • Technology, including cybersecurity and data centers
  • Film & Digital Entertainment, including film production studios and video game programming/development
  • Entrepreneurs/Startups that specialize in technology and creative services
  • Commercial Developers that target Class A office space, mixed-use, and a hotel/conference center

The plan also features four strategic goal areas:

  1. Ensure Cherokee has attractive and connected places, including the development of marketable sites and buildings while enhancing livability assets
  2. Build an educated and talented workforce to meet the needs of new and existing businesses
  3. Cultivate innovating and enterprising business, which will result in a more diversified business culture that supports new and legacy manufacturers, corporate and regional headquarters, and technology companies.
  4. Retain a vibrant and inviting brand identity both internally and externally

Cherokee County is home to both corporate and regional headquarters, including award-winning technology companies like Black Airplane, which opened its first “hanger” along with a small “flight crew” in 2017 at The Circuit in Woodstock.

“Black Airplane employs 30 families here in Cherokee County, and it all started at The Circuit Woodstock,” said Black Airplane Managing Partner and Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell. “If we didn’t have that launchpad, we could not have built that. Economic development is important because of the long-term impact it makes but also for what it means for families. We are proud to invest in Cherokee By Choice.”

An important part of CBC 2.0 is identifying product for future businesses. 

Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell and City of Canton Mayor Bill GrantFrom left to right: City of Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell and City of Canton Mayor Bill Grant
Photo taken by: Bronson Kurtz - Personalized Technology Services

One of COED's goals is to promote job growth in Cherokee and drive down out-commutes. Over three quarters of Cherokee County's workforce commute out of the county daily, COED reports, at 77%, down from 80% in 2015.

 As part of the strategy’s next phase, COED will focus its efforts on keeping talent local through projects such as the Canton Corporate Park – a development designed to be a premier destination for companies looking to relocate.

The park’s master plan includes two large pad sites with the ability to accommodate over 150,000 square feet as well as flex space sites fronting Highway 20.

To learn more or read a summary of the CBC 2.0 Strategic Plan, visit


Source: Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News