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Robust economies in Coweta and Fayette 

   For a long time, Coweta and Fayette counties have been regarded as great areas to reside. These counties are attractive to residents because they provide above-average parks, access to first-rate healthcare, above-average schools, and other amenities. All of this is made possible by the robust economies of both counties.

When Fayetteville was established in 1822 and developed into a commerce hub for the farmers in the area, the foundation was already in place. A few years later, merchants, attorneys, and other professionals formed the core of the newly formed town of Newnan. Senoia and Sharpsburg emerged several decades later. Later, Peachtree City was founded in 1959.

   Not one of our towns or cities would exist without the strength of trade and business. The challenge is to grow in a way that is constructive, intentional, and long-lasting. All over north Atlanta you can see prime examples of unplanned urban expansion. Coweta and Fayette counties have come to the realization in recent years that they would face similar issues if they didn’t begin to plan for their expansion.

   One of the goals of Fayetteville’s nearly ten-year rehabilitation plan was to make the downtown area more walkable, which would cut down on daily traffic. It makes sense that locals could still need to drive to work. Still, fewer people will be on the roads if they can walk to dinner or to the local entertainment.

   One of the projects that was completed in 2023 was 240 Glynn Street. 240 Glynn Street is a comprehensive redevelopment and adaptive re-use project that adds dynamic dining and creative spaces to the downtown area of Fayetteville, while restoring and enhancing the existing property.

   The building, rich in history, has served as city hall, an elementary school, and a special education facility. As a result, the building holds special meaning to many residents. Roundtown Collaborations has taken the historical location and transformed it into a community gathering spot that will continue to create memories and help Fayetteville grow and prosper. The redevelopment of 240 Glynn Street is masterfully designed, bringing in purposeful partners to enhance and beautify the neighborhood and make it an attraction for both residents and tourists. 240 Glynn Street features Rooted Hybrid Cafe, Grazefull & Cured, The Hummingbird Wine Bar & Market, Two Hands Pottery Studio, and Sparrow Organic Salon & Boutique.

   As 2024 begins, construction is underway on the data center that will be housed between Trilith and Tyrone. In addition to encouraging additional tech-related businesses to locate in the area, it will result in a considerable increase in tax revenue for the City of Fayetteville. Fayetteville has a promising future ahead of them, with additional developments in the works.

   Newnan is also forward-looking as they reinvigorate their downtown area. Main Street Newnan works and Newnan Economic Development both work towards making Newnan a great place to live, work, and play.

   A key factor in the prosperity of the downtown businesses of Newnan is Main Street. Their influence is the result of specific plan. They strive to maintain downtown Newnan’s growth and vitality by using the Main Street Four Point Approach, which focuses on Economic Vitality, Design, Organization, and Promotion. They are also committed to historic preservation-based community regeneration as an accredited National and Georgia Main Street Program.

   Year-round special events and inventive marketing techniques draw people to the downtown area to buy, eat, and spend time. Additionally, they work to assist initiatives aimed at continuously enhancing the downtown area’s historic buildings’ architectural environments. Their approach also includes using strategic planning to help our historic business area’s financial reorganization and coordinating efforts, commitments, and leadership to progress the Main Street program. In doing so, they give the city the best opportunity to effectively revitalize the commercial downtown by promoting local enterprises and civic pride through partnerships, our culture, small businesses, local assets, architectural heritage, and community events.

   One of Georgia’s first Main Street initiatives, Main Street Newnan, has served as the city of Newnan’s liaison with the business community, regional and local economic development groups, and nonprofit organizations since 1986. A group of local volunteers, businesses, and partner organizations created the Main Street Program 35 years ago, investing countless hours of their own free time and financial resources to secure the future of downtown Newnan.

   Their commitment to maintaining the unique cultural identity of our community by reviving the downtown area served as a model for future program advancement. Main Street Newnan is conscious that maintaining strategic partnerships is essential to the success of its reconstruction initiative.

   An additional means by which Main Street Newnan encourages visitors to come to Newnan for dining and shopping is through annual events. Main Street Newnan hosts the Monthly Market Day every month from March through December from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. around the courthouse square in downtown Newnan on the first Saturday of the month. The market offers a selection of regionally made products made by farmers, artists, and crafts people.

   A celebration of local art, the Art Walk Event, brings downtown Newnan to life twice a year. During the Art Walk, businesses remain open later to showcase carefully chosen exhibits and demonstrations in-store, created by some of Newnan’s top artists. A diverse array of artistic mediums and methods, including oil on canvas, engraving, ceramics, photography, jewelry-making, fiber arts, performing arts, and acrylics, are showcased by at least forty artists across downtown. Other events scheduled for the year include Plaid Friday, Spirits & Spice, Sunrise on the Square Race, Labor Day Sidewalk Sale, Summer NewnaNights, and 4th of July Parade.

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NEWNAN–COWETA CHAMBER UPDATE

by Candace Boothby, President & CEO

   During 2023, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber enhanced several key programs designed to connect Chamber members with the community while offering them access to important resources. Last year also saw the launch of a few new initiatives that set the stage for future successes.

   The Chamber’s inaugural Total Resource Campaign (TRC) surpassed the campaign goal by 126 percent. TRC, the Chamber’s new business model, engaged almost 40 volunteers in the community sharing the Chamber’s resources and telling its story.  TRC helped increase basic understanding of the Chamber and its programs among its membership and in the community. The Chamber also saw an increase in the number of new members taking advantage of services and programming, and realized a significant bump in volunteer enthusiasm.

   Jess Barron, vice president with Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors, will serve as the chair for the 2024 Total Resource Campaign.

Another milestone in 2023 was the first Forward Coweta Summit. This day long event brought together close to 300 diverse community stakeholders. The focus was on quality community growth, and speakers included local leaders and people with expertise and insights from throughout the region and state. In conjunction with the Forward Coweta Summit, the Chamber also created a subgroup, Forward Coweta Alliance, which brought together 35-45-year-old professionals to play a key role in planning the 2024 Summit, set for the last Wednesday in August.

   The Chamber launched the Small Business Digital Aid program, which provided $400,000 in funding to small businesses to help them improve their digital projects. Also launched was the WorkUp Coweta program, which provided hands-on training for Cowetans with an eye toward meeting the needs of Coweta industries. 

   The Chamber provided the Tools for Business online program to support small businesses, and offered more than 65 opportunities for networking for small business leaders during the year.

   The New Executives Windshield Tour, which launched in May, created an opportunity for many new executives to the community to enjoy a quick, fun way to discover the diverse facets of Coweta County life. The program, which was well attended and garnered praise from participants, held a second tour in November.

   The Chamber welcomed 175 new members in 2023, hired a Member Engagement Manager, Nina McMichael, to keep members up-to-date and involved in Chamber programs, and renewed the prestigious 5-Star Accreditation, receiving a perfect score in seven of nine categories. This represents the third consecutive receipt of the coveted 5 Stars in the past 15 years.  Being named a 5-Star Chamber puts the Chamber in the top 1 percent of chambers across the country.

In 2024, the Chamber’s priorities include:

   • The Coweta Way and Community Visioning – The Chamber will host a series of listening dinners with Chamber and community leaders to help define next steps for these two vital initiatives. Pat Fineran, Accelerated Performance Solutions, chairs this initiative. 

   • Coweta Works – After a brief pandemic-related pause, Coweta Works relaunches its in-person opportunity for all eighth graders in the Coweta County School System. This program includes a virtual classroom component that will continue to be a resource in the future.

   • Leadership Coweta – This year marks the 29th year for the Leadership Coweta program, which gives existing and emerging leaders opportunities to enhance their civic knowledge of Coweta County, as well as sharpen their leadership skills and connect with other community leaders. A reimagined Leadership Coweta Alumni program launches later in the year.

   • Getro Job Board – There was a soft launch for this new tool last year. This year, an aggressive promotion campaign is planned to help elevate awareness for this valuable job board.

   • Governmental Affairs – Because 2024 is a big election year, the Chamber will have an extra focus on government. A candidate workshop and candidate forums are planned, in addition to usual events like Pancakes and Politics, the Elected Officials Cookout, and Dinner with the Delegation.

   • Signature Events – The Chamber celebrates the legacy of its first 76 years at the annual State of the Chamber Luncheon in February. The 39th Annual Golf Classic kicks off the first Wednesday in May, and the inaugural Pickleball Tournament takes place in October. The popular Friendsgiving Luncheon, which brings together representatives of non-profits in Coweta County, returns in November.

   • Programs and Events – As with any healthy organization, much of the Chamber’s most productive work happens day to day. A full calendar of events is offered for members including monthly networking activities, as well as special programs featuring relevant information at the Talk of the Town luncheons, Catalyst Lunches and State of the Community Lunch. The Chamber team looks forward to another year working with community leaders to make Coweta County an even better place to live and work.

Fayette Chamber – Transitioning to New Heights

by Leonardo McCarty, President, Fayette County Chamber

The year 2023 was one of transition for the Fayette Chamber. Changes at the leadership and staff levels led to a new look for the 57-year-old business organization. In March, the Chamber’s CEO decided to pursue new endeavors and was followed by the Director of Membership Development. I was fortunate to assume the helm in November and plans are on the horizon to fill the membership development position in early 2024.  Despite these personnel, changes and transitions, the Chamber, led by a dedicated group of volunteers and supported by the remaining staff, continued to provide stellar programming to the Fayette County business community. 

Highlights from the past year include:

   • New Networking Opportunities – Always looking to add value and business development opportunities, the Chamber hosted its first Cornhole and Shooting Clays tournaments. Organization supporters were able to spend a relaxing day meeting new prospects and entertaining clients all the while supporting the Chamber in resource development.   

   • Joint Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Summit with Clayton and Henry County Chambers – As part of efforts to increase impact and provide professional development, the Chamber partnered with neighboring chambers Clayton and Henry County to host a joint DEI Summit. Hundreds turned out to discuss ways in which they could be better advocates and allies all the while creating workplaces where diversity is celebrated.  

   • Workforce Development Summit – Following up on the heels of the DEI conference, the Chamber hosted a Workforce Development Summit as part of plans to support local industry in addressing their talent acquisition and retention challenges. 

   • Small Business support – Conferences aside, the Chamber continued to support its small business community by hosting forums like Network @ Noon where businesses speed networked and gleaned business practices while sharing a meal. Other small business programs featured Lunch & Learns, Start-Up Fayette and a “Shark Tank” styled Pitch Competition.  

   • Other Programs – Not to be an organization focused solely on networking, the Chamber continued to serve as a business advocate by hosting several policy programs. Events like the Legislative Reception, Pancakes & Policy breakfasts, and the Bray Luncheon afforded policy wonks and government affairs staffers the opportunity to network with Georgia General Assembly members and local mayors, commissioners, and council persons. 

   As we transition into 2024, business professionals can expect these same programs but with some added twists. Besides events, the Chamber will have a keen focus on membership engagement and organization development. The initiatives of the Chamber fall within five key categories. 

   As an organization predicated on member firms, the Chamber will look to increase our programmatic offerings, especially those that cater to small business. We will look to engage the membership more in the development of our initiatives which we hope will lead to increased acquisition and retention. A major component of our membership strategy will be small business support. Recognizing that most Fayette County businesses are those with less than 20 employees, the Chamber will host a small business summit in summer of 2024.  

   A key component to membership growth is evaluating our operations and how we function as an organization. We recognize that member growth is only one component of a strong and influential organization. The other component is examining our operations, strategies, and key performance metrics. While events and programs garner attention, operational efficiencies and process improvement will be what makes the Chamber a better overall association. The capturing and utilization of data will aid us in how we support our members and evaluate our programmatic impact.  

Part of our keen focus on growth is messaging and communications.      There is a recognition that many older business leaders and managers understand the benefits and work of the Chamber. As the workplace continues its generational transition, there is also an understanding that many Gen Z’s and millennials do not share that same awareness. Thus, the Chamber will be enhancing its messaging to ensure our value proposition is clear and concise. Interested persons can expect to see more insightful newsletters, greater social media engagement and a revamped website. It is our intention to also increase our utilization of video. 

   When It’s all said and done, there is recognition and understanding that no one fully accomplishes their goals without partnership and collaboration. Thus, the Chamber will expand its reach and influence by further developing and cultivating relationships with county and regional organizations that should lead to increased business opportunities for members and aid in solving community challenges. 

   Whether independent or through a collective, the Chamber will encourage economic development, leadership training, and sound public policy. The Chamber has always been a staunch advocate for public policy that aids in business growth and economic development. We will continue these efforts by strengthening our relationships with our located elected and appointed officials. We will also support development initiatives that continue to spur jobs and private investment. In early Spring, the Chamber in collaboration with the Fayette Development Authority, will host a Business Outlook Summit where we will discuss local economic development initiatives, successes, and threats to future prosperity. 

   Policy aside, the Chamber will continue to foster programming that strengthens civic leadership through our Leadership Fayette program. Not to rely just on topical monthly programs, the Chamber will unveil a new alumni engagement model where previous program participants can help shape future programming.  

   The Chamber will also launch a new education endeavor as we partner with the US Chamber to host a local National Civics Bee. As one of two participating chambers in the state of Georgia, this program targets middle schoolers with the purpose of furthering their understanding of the branches of government and how their decisions shape society. The Chamber will also host annual summits focused on Workforce Development and DEI.

   As one can see, 2024 promises to be a busy and exciting year for the Fayette Chamber as we strive to continue having positive community impact while providing creative and relevant programming for our members. 

Business Development​​​ & Support

 

COWETA

Coweta County Convention & Visitors Bureau

200 Court Square, Newnan 30263

770-254-2627; explorecoweta.com

​Coweta County Development Authority

100 International Park; Newnan 30265

770-304-1777; developcoweta.com

Main Street Newnan

6 First Avenue, Newnan 30263

770-253-8283; mainstreetnewnan.com

Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce

23 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan 30263

770-253-2270; newnancowetachamber.org

Senoia Downtown Development Authority

April Anderson; 770-880-3766

P. O. Box 310, Senoia 30276

enjoysenoia.com


Senoia Welcome Center

68 Main Street, Senoia 30276

770-727-9173
 

FAYETTE

Fayette County Chamber of Commerce

600 W Lanier Avenue, Ste 205,

Fayetteville 30214  770-461-9983;

fayettechamber.org​

Fayette County Development Authority

200 Courthouse Square, Fayetteville 30214

770-461-5253; fayettega.org


Main Street Fayetteville/DDA

200 Courthouse Sq. Fayetteville 30214

770-719-4173; fayetteville-ga.gov


Peachtree City Convention & Visitors Bureau

191 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City 30269

678-216-0282; visitpeachtreecity.com

 

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Senoia Plans for the Future

   Senoia has seen record growth over the past decade. Leaders in Senoia saw that unplanned growth could result in a multitude of problems. So they set out to find solutions – before the problems arose. In 2020 key people in Senoia learned about the concept of Traditional Urbanism. The concept places emphasis on a walkable town center with a wide variety of uses. They began studying the concept and visiting other cities that had embraced the idea. It became obvious that Senoia would benefit by implementing this concept.

   This led to the creation of Connect Senoia in 2023, A Livable Centers Initiative that is partly funded through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative grant.

   The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a grant program that encourages cities to re-envision their communities as vibrant, walkable places. The initiative was created as a way to reduce vehicle miles traveled and improve air quality.

To lead the effort Connect Senoia hired Street Plans, well known urban planning and design company. Their job was to organize the project, assess the town’s needs, and install a plan for the city to achieve it’s goals.

   Senoia’s new model would include a mobility and development strategy plan for the growing town center and surrounding area, including reducing automobile traffic and encouraging alternative travel, such as walking, biking, and micromobility (golf carts, e-bikes etc,).

   The project, which is in progress, consists of four components:

   • Growth & Conservation - to control growth and conserve natural lands

   • Connectivity - a full range of options – from walking, biking, transit, and micro-mobility,

   • Town Center - to lay out a vision for continued development in the town center.

   • Unified Development Ordinance - to codify the vision identified in the master plans.

   After initial site visits and meetings in Spring of 2023, Street Plans kicked off the project with engagement of the public with a workshop that summer in which citizens of Senoia were invited to give input about current conditions and learn about options that could be introduced that could enhance the town’s design. Additional workshops with the public’s input followed that Fall and in early 2024.

   The vision of Connect Senoia is to develop a planned growth strategy that preserves the land, enhances walkability and connectivity, and honors the history and charm of the community. Visit ConnectSenoia.com for further project details.

Revitalizing Downtown Newnan -
A Glimpse into the Future

   Downtown Newnan, a charming hub of unique shops, delightful restaurants, and a warm ambiance, has long been a beloved destination for both locals and visitors alike. However, its popularity has led to a scarcity of available spaces, making it challenging for new businesses to establish themselves in this thriving district. In response to this issue, Main Street Newnan and the Downtown Development Authority have outlined four innovative goals aimed at addressing the demand for more space and ensuring the continued growth and vibrancy of Downtown Newnan.

   1. Second Story Activation: Unlocking Hidden Potential

The second story of many downtown buildings often remains underutilized. Main Street Newnan’s strategic plan involves conducting a comprehensive inventory of these available spaces. By doing so, they aim to create resources and incentives that encourage businesses to capitalize on this untapped potential. Second Story Activation is not only a solution for additional office spaces but also a catalyst for the growth of the service industry and residential areas within downtown.

   2. Development Prep: Unleashing the Eastern Frontier

Recognizing the need for expansion, the focus turns to the eastern side of the downtown district. This area, often referred to as the last “frontier” for development, spans from the 57 E Broad property up to the Public Safety Complex. By being proactive in development preparation, Downtown Newnan aims to unlock new opportunities for businesses, ensuring sustainable growth while maintaining the district’s unique character.

   3. Volunteer Support: Building a Community of Cheerleaders

To bolster Downtown Newnan’s success, a community of cheerleaders and ambassadors is being cultivated. Volunteer support is crucial in creating a positive atmosphere and fostering a sense of community pride. These ambassadors will play a pivotal role in welcoming visitors, promoting local events, and highlighting the district’s unique offerings.

   4. Experience Economy: Beyond Commercial Businesses

Beyond its commercial establishments, Downtown Newnan possesses a wealth of assets that contribute to its distinct character. Main Street Newnan and the Downtown Development Authority aim to shift the focus towards the ‘Experience Economy.’ By highlighting the cultural, historical, and recreational aspects of downtown, they intend to create an immersive and memorable experience for both residents and visitors. 

   Downtown Newnan’s commitment to growth is evident in the substantial public and private investments made between 2018 and 2022, totaling over $40 million. Looking ahead, the district is poised to receive an additional $12 million in investments in 2023. These investments not only reflect confidence in Downtown Newnan’s potential but also lay the foundation for a flourishing future.

 In conclusion, the future of Downtown Newnan is one of innovation, inclusivity, and sustainable growth. With strategic goals in place and a community dedicated to preserving its unique charm, Downtown Newnan is set to remain a beacon of cultural and economic vitality for years to come.

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