Downtown Development Strategic Assessment
During the Spring of 2020, the City of Woodbury, a small city (population of 1,200) located in rural Meriwether County, Georgia, partnered with Georgia Tech’s EDA University Center to help a coalition of civic and business leaders develop a strategic assessment to guide the city’s downtown development and economic development efforts. This assessment identified strategic priorities for the local government to use as a roadmap to pursue their economic development and downtown revitalization goals.
The City of Woodbury used this plan to apply for and receive the Georgia Rural Zone designation through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). This five-year designation allows Woodbury to offer tax incentives for job creation, commercial investment, and other business activities.
Since Georgia Tech’s work in Woodbury, the city has adopted and begun implementing the five-year work plan. The implementation of the plan has already generated an impact. The city has (1) added several new businesses to their historic downtown; (2) established a Historic Preservation Commission; (3) joined the Georgia Main Street “Start-Up” program; and (3) become a Georgia Certified Local Government. The City of Woodbury recently received the 2021 Visionary City Award from the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend Magazine.