Growing entrepreneurship in Dalton part of 5-year strategic plan

Local leaders in Dalton, Georgia are working to help entrepreneurs grown new businesses in the city.

Local leaders in Dalton are working to grow the city in many ways. City leaders have created a five-year strategic plan called Believe Greater Dalton.

There are six parts to the plan, and one part is creating an environment for entrepreneurship to grow in the city.

"Dalton is what it is today because of our innovation and entrepreneurship in the floor covering industry. The recession came along and hit our town hard, and we have not invested in our entrepreneurs as we should since the recession is over," Rob Bradham, President and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. "That's what the Dalton Innovation Accelerator is about."

Rob Bradham along with local business leaders such as Barry Slaymaker have been behind the push to start more businesses in Dalton, Georgia

"The time is right for us to bring that back. The economy is good. Our community is behind improving itself at this point, and we really want to show that we are an entrepreneur friendly city and really bolster ourselves as the hub for business in Northwest Georgia," Slaymaker said.

Barrett Properties and Inventure IT are the founders of the Dalton Innovation Accelerator or DIA. The accelerator is being built in the Landmark Building downtown.

"It will be a hub for entrepreneurs in Dalton," Slaymaker said.

The process of finding these new businesses has already started. The DIA started an entrepreneur competition over the last several months, and the finalists will participate in a pitch night on May 15. The winner will get space in the new accelerator. These local leaders hope that projects like the DIA and the NEW Dalton Brewing Company that opened in late February will help bring more people and growth to Downtown Dalton.

10:57-11:06 Allyson Coker -Project Manager for Believe Greater Dalton

"The sky's the limit. This is just the beginning," Allyson Coker, project manager for Believe Greater Dalton said. "We're just so excited that we're gonna have a presence downtown right in the heart of Dalton for entrepreneurs."

The pitch night event on May 15 will take place at Stage 1-23 in Dalton. It is open to the public. You can learn more on the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce's website.

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