Grant & Loan Awards: Fannin County
Equity loan funds to assist with the upgrade and conversion of a vacant 42,500 SF manufacturing facility into three spaces. Pulse Medical, Inc., a Florida-based manufacturer of x-ray protection apparel and accessories, will occupy 10,625 SF, and the remaining square footage will be strategically marketed to business and light manufacturing industry targeted for the region. Fannin County is located 90 miles north of Atlanta, bordered by Tennessee and North Carolina. The closures of three of North Georgia’s top five employers between 2001 and 2002 left approximately 1,000 employees unemployed. The region’s economic prospects are currently limited by a lack of prospect-ready sites. The mountainous terrain, forests and wilderness attract tourists and second-home buyers; however, those same features increase land prices and restrict access to water, sewer and major highways. The existing facility is the former Blue Ridge Textile Manufacturing facility. It is fully equipped with water, sewer, gas and is served by rail and two telecommunications providers. Pulse Medical, Inc., plans to relocate to Blue Ridge by September and be fully operational by December 2011.