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Commerce Downtown Blueprint Project- NE GA Regional Commission

The Northeast GA Regional Commission’s regional plan (2012) included in its regional work program, in the Social and Economic Development section, that the RC shall “Assist local governments with economic development planning and funding opportunities.” In direct implementation of that work item, the staff of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission's Planning and Government Services Division has been frequently engaged by local governments in Northeast Georgia to facilitate small area, strategic-planning processes. These efforts take a variety of forms, from formalized urban redevelopments plans to small area development strategies.

Of note among these efforts is the commitment to public engagement demonstrated by the City of Commerce in the development of a blueprint for the success of their historic downtown.
The first public meeting for the Downtown Commerce target area was held on January 8, 2015 in the Commerce Public Library auditorium. NEGRC staff facilitated the development of the agenda over the course of two meetings, and a robust outreach strategy was formed; individual stakeholders were tasked with spreading word of the meeting to specific groups, including business owners, civic clubs, and racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods. In order to encourage participation, the City offered a $10.00 utility bill discount to all meeting attendees. With between 60-75 people in attendance, City and NEGRC staff found it necessary to move small groups into other sections of the library during the discussion and feedback portion of the agenda.

The downtown blueprint has been completed and is being implemented by the City, the Commerce Main Street Program, the Commerce DDA and other stakeholders within the City.
NE GA Regional Commission 


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