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 Northeast Georgia impacting the three counties in the growing I-85 corridor.
"It’s a proven fact that our labor draw comes from all three counties. We work hard to promote the entire region," Lyn Brumby Allen, Franklin’s director of economic development, Georgia Trend, April 2009
Local leaders created the Stephens County Development Authority in 1965 to promote growth in this vibrant area of Northeast Georgia. The SCDA gained official status in 1968 by an act of the Georgia Legislature with the adoption of a local Constitutional Amendment and hired its first executive director.
The SCDA purchased 135 acres of land to form the Stephens County Industrial Park and acquired the Camp Toccoa property in 1969. A year later the authority issued its first revenue bonds to fund the construction of a Phillips Fibers plant in the new industrial park. The SCDA also sold its Camp Toccoa property in 1970 to Milliken and Co. as the site of a new textile plant.
Growth continued in Stephens County under the guidance of local government and the SCDA and the authority purchased 185 acres of land in 1979 to establish the Meadowbrook Industrial Park. An additional 110 acres was added to the development in 1993 and the SCDA built its first spec building there in 1995. The reach of the SCDA was extended in 1995 when local officials formed a Joint Development Authority with Hart and Franklin Counties.
The authority purchased 425 acres from four local families in 1997 to create the Hayestone Brady Business Park. The SCDA and local leaders secured $10 million in federal funding in 2005 to fund infrastructure improvements and a public-private partnership with the Rooker Corp. added a $3 million spec building to the site in 2007.
Hayestone Brady Business Park has been named a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) site by the Georgia Allies, a public-private partnership focused on economic development marketing. HBBP is one of only 30 designated sites in the state. GRAD sites have been validated as meeting standards showing that they are at an advanced state of readiness for development and use by prospects.
In an ongoing effort to make the county more attractive to industrial developers, the SCDA voted in 2013 to file an application with the state to make the business park on Highway 17 and an adjacent property an enterprise zone.
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.
Georgia Work Ready
State Tax Credits
Opportunity Zone Tax Credit
Freeport Tax Exemption
Training and Education
Grants & Other Finance Options
Drugs Don't Work
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!-