Downtown Development Authority

The Main Street program began in 1990 to facilitate the revitalization of downtown Toccoa. The Mission Statement of Main Street Toccoa is to improve Toccoa’s quality of life by strengthening downtown’s role as the community’s heart.

Main Street Toccoa has been accredited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 1000. Toccoa’s Program is based on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s recommend four-point approach to downtown redevelopment within the context of historic preservation.

Recent honors include the 2009 Great America Main Street Top Ten Semi-finalist from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the 2008 Excellence in Downtown Development Award from the GA Downtown Association, and the 2009 Excellence in Rehabilitation Award from the GA Trust for Historic Preservation

Phone: 706-282-3269

Connie Tabor, Planning and Main Street Director:
Sharon Crosby, Events Coordinator  
Kembra Landry, Information and Graphics Specialist

Chamber of Commerce

The Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the interests of its 400-plus valued Members who represent our community including business, educational, professional, civic, recreational, industrial and political arenas. Members identify opportunities to solve challenges and shape the future of business and the community. The Chamber staff provides leadership, coordinates interested parties and initiates action.  

The Chamber is most often the first stop for visitors to Stephens County as well as potential investors and businesses. The Chamber provides information on the county's rich history, manufacturing, retail and service industries, award winning public schools, state of the art medical facilities, superior public utilities, outstanding community amenities, tourist attractions, unsurpassed natural beauty and outdoor recreation including Lake Hartwell ... the Great Lake of the South.     

Phone: 706-886-2132
Fax: 706-886-2133

Julie Paysen, President
Melvia-Lynn Dickinson, Executive Assistant  
Clay Fisher, Chairman


Georgia Economic Developers Association

The Georgia Economic Developers Association is a non-profit association of professionals and volunteers who are involved with the economic development of the cities and counties of Georgia.

GEDA was organized to increase the effectiveness of individuals involved in the practice of economic development in Georgia by encouraging cooperation, exchange of information, and upgrading of professional skills.

GEDA strives to achieve a closer working relationship among professionals and volunteers engaged in economic development in Georgia.

Phone: 404-962-4110
Fax: 404-962-4132



Joint Development Authority

Stephens County joined Franklin County and Hart County’s Industrial Building Authority in the Joint Development Authority in 1996.

Through regular collaboration, the JDA initiates and manages development projects in North Georgia impacting the three counties in the growing I-85 corridor.

The JDA business plan spells-out major initiatives including Hwy 17 widening, maximizing the Hartwell Railroad, the joint development park, etc. Marketing has shifted from individual counties with about 25,000 residents each to a regional focus which includes more than 100,000 residents. A commuting workforce from South Carolina further increases the pool of available employees.


International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their jobs more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. The goal is tp create more high-quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions.

IEDC is the world's largest membership organization serving the economic development profession. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, its members represent the entire range of economic development experience,

Building strong, sustainable communities is an endeavor requiring innovative strategies, tools, and techniques. IEDC  programs and services have been developed accordingly: they provide educational opportunities, analyze and disseminate information, and improve decision-makers' responsiveness to economic development needs.

Georgia Mountains Regional Commission

The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) is a sub-state district created by local governments in 1962 under provisions of Georgia Enabling Law. The purpose of the GMRC is to locally promote and guide proper development of human, natural, physical, social and economic resources in the Georgia Mountains Region. The area covers 3,500 square miles, and includes Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White Counties.

The GMRC offers a wide variety of services to its 51 local governments, which include 13 counties and 38 municipalities. The GMRC works with these entities to formulate goals and strategies for area growth and development. Upon request, the GMRC provides a variety of technical assistance that will improve community services and the quality of life for Georgia Mountains residents.

The GMRC is guided by a 44-member Council and is composed of individuals appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker and one county elected official, one city elected official and one private sector individual from each of our 13 counties. City, County and private sector representatives are chosen by the cities and counties they represent. The Council is responsible for all policy decisions.




The SCDA is responsible for the recruitment of new businesses including industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters and customer service centers. It also provides support and assistance with all other types of economic development projects.

The SCDA also works with existing businesses and industries to ensure their continued success. While recruitment of new industry is a significant function, aiding in existing industry expansion and retention is just as significant. About 80 percent of all new jobs in Georgia come as a result of existing industry expansion.

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A couple of years ago, the Stephens County Development Authority informed us that we were located in an Opportunity Zone which qualified us for tax credits that were applied to our GA payroll taxes for adding new employees. We were able to realize these savings. We are thankful to our local development authority for making sure that we were taking advantage of all the tax credits available to us. -
From the beginning of our interest in moving to Toccoa-Stephens County, the Stephens County Development Authority made regular trips to our office to make sure we are adjusting to our new home and acclimated to the community resources in Stephens County. They provided a wealth of information on Georgia Business Incentives and tax incentives specific to Stephens County. They introduced us to many connections in Stephens County. We now are well connected with the Department of Labor and attend their monthly meeting and after SCDA's help with some paperwork we have taken advantage of GDOL's Incumbent Worker Program. The Development Authority also shared their long list of local vendors with us and we were able to find our utilities provider, an insurance agent, a computer technician and research local CPAs. Basically, the SCDA is our go to. If we can't figure it out or just need some guidance on an issue we don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call. We definitely appreciate the Stephens County Development Authority's efforts to make Toccoa a great place to do business. They truly make us feel welcome and appreciated in Stephens County! -
31 W. Doyle Street, Toccoa GA 30577
Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
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