The following is a brief summary of the action plans developed:

Marketing Plan for Attraction of Knowledge Industries

  • Home Organization:  Southwest Commission
  • Goal: identify and attract small-midsize knowledge businesses to Boundary and 7 counties of Western NC
  • Activities:
    • Inventory and quantify the key assets of  western NC region
    • Conduct market research to develop clear profiles of target businesses Develop “market offering”:  sites, information, incentives to share with potentially interested companies.
    • Develop and launch marketing campaign
  • Resources required:  staff time plus $50,000
  • Potential funding sources in cash and in kind:
    • Special assessment from 7 counties
    • Drake Software
    • EBCI Department of Commerce
    • Cherokee Preservation Foundation
  • Timeline: September 2014 – March 2016

Feasibility Study for Fiber-Enabled Office Building and Co-Working Space

  • Home Organization: Sequoyah Fund and Southwestern Commission
  • Goal: determine whether sufficient demand exists at specific rental price points to support cost of fiber-enabled office building/co-work space (similar to Mojo Coworking in Asheville)
  • Activities:
    • Develop profile of potential users
    • Conduct individual interviews and online survey of tech and home-based entrepreneurs businesses within a 30-mile radius/located in Jackson or Swain County
    • Develop estimate of potential demand for office and co-working space and a suite of services at particular price points
  • Resources required:  staff time plus $1,000
  • Potential funding sources: Southwestern Commission and Sequoyah fund in-kind and cash donations
  • Timeline: September 2014 – March 2015