Local development authority given national award

By Staff
Jason Cannon
Aside from recruiting new business, the Franklin County Development Authority (FCDA) is bringing a little notoriety to the county.
A business retention and expansion program, coordinated by the FCDA, won the Community Award for areas with a population under 50,000 at the annual conference of Business Retention and Expansion International held this week in Wichita, Kansas.
Franklin County's program was sponsored, in part, with a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The FCDA program, nominated by TVA, was lauded as a winning regional business retention program that utilizes data gathered from confidential interviews with local business and industry leaders to raise community awareness of businesses in the county; promote existing industry; work in partnership with local and state organizations to identify solutions to community weaknesses that may possibly hinder the growth of existing businesses and provide customized assistance to companies in Franklin County.
"From day one, existing industry has been a top priority for the FCDA. We are extremely honored to achieve this international recognition from BREI and are equally eager to continue our support of existing industries with the goal of helping them continue to grow and prosper," said Mitch Mays, Executive Director of the Franklin County Development Authority.
"We thank TVA for nominating and supporting us, and are grateful to our local, county and state leaders who daily partner with us to deliver these retention and expansion services. This award is affirmation of the partnership developed to support existing industry in Franklin County."
Franklin County began the interviewing process in 2006 and the results of discovering the true needs of the business community have been dramatic.
"Through these interviews we were able to find some areas where there were opportunities to make improvements to help our existing industries," Mays said.
Cooperating with its partners, the FCDA has made significant improvements within the county's business climate. Some examples of which are:
FCDA Receives International Award Page 2
Mays said the importance of having a program geared toward existing business and industry is seen in the companies' potential economic impact on our communities. Results from interviews of local companies provided community leaders with information indicating that an anticipated 67 percent of Franklin County industries intend to expand within the next three years, potentially resulting in hundreds of additional jobs and approximately $97 million in new capital investment.

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