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Mapping Our Way to Economic Success

The term "economic development" is broad and holds different meanings for different people. Just a few weeks ago, I met a Cherokee County resident while hanging out at Canton's Green Line Brewery. While we were discussing City of Canton goals, he kept putting "economic development" in air quotes whenever he said it. He had fallen for a couple of common misconceptions about the term: That those working on economic growth goals always ignore quality of life, and that economic development always means "new."

In fact, quality of life is key to successful economic growth. Green space preservation and additions, projects such as our wastewater treatment plant expansion, placemaking initiatives such as those along Marietta Road/Sunnyside, and tourism product development are all examples of ways Canton plans to give a boost to economic development while preserving and improving residents' well-being and standard of living.

Redeveloping underutilized properties rather than only "building new" is another key to economic development. A prime example of redevelopment with far-reaching economic impact is Canton's The Mill on Etowah project, featuring shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Another exceptional redevelopment project is the historic Jones Mercantile Building. The Downtown Development Authority is seeking developers for this 42,000-square-foot opportunity, and the City of Canton team is excited about progress on this front.

This year, the City also plans to hire an Economic Development and Tourism Manager. This position will likely focus on programs, policies, and initiatives that help build local wealth, create/keep jobs, build the tax base, and diversify the economy.

Fortunately for all of us, one of the tenets within the City of Canton's Roadmap for Success is "Advancing Regional Economic Success." Residents can view the measurable goals and ideas for expanding Canton's economic footprint, supporting jobs, attracting investment, and creating tourism opportunities on the City's website at Feel free to reach out with feedback and ideas, too.


A Top City in the Southeast

"Canton was built by innovation and industry. Our economy has diversified from the cotton textile manufacturing of our early days to now include health care, education, technology, advanced manufacturing, corporate and regional headquarters, government services, and retail trade. We are surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we are part of the enterprising metro Atlanta region. Unique cultural opportunities and a top-ranked quality of life add to Canton's desirability as a wonderful place to live, work, invest, and play" ( 

Planning For The Future
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