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Economic Development Week Spotlight: Grow Cabarrus

In celebration of 2020 Economic Development Week, we want to highlight one of our newest and most exciting economic development programs: Grow Cabarrus.

Launched in December 2019 by the Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Grow Cabarrus has selected three local companies to participate in this hands-on, economic gardening initiative—the first of its kind in North Carolina.

Originating out of Colorado, economic gardening helps communities grow from within by targeting existing companies in the county and helping them become larger. Our six-week pilot program focuses on helping second-stage companies grow to the next level by providing them with a team of research experts who will help guide their key business growth decisions through customized market research, customer maps, competitive analysis, and other sophisticated tools and resources that they typically would not have access to.

The three Cabarrus County companies currently participating are Ketchie Inc., Southern Grace Distilleries, and Complete Design & Packaging. If the pilot program is successful, the Cabarrus EDC hopes to support many more qualifying local businesses in the future.

“The Economic Gardening program brought to bear a diverse and deep level of expertise that a small company can seldom access or afford,” says Thomas Thacker, COO at Southern Grace Distilleries.

Southern Grace Distilleries creates, bottles and hand-labels its American distilled spirits in the former Cabarrus County Correctional Facilities in Mount Pleasant, NC. In addition to American spirits, Southern Grace attracts locals and tourists who are eager to tour the old prison and the revitalized distilleries.

Complete Design & Packaging offers a comprehensive array of custom packaging and display services in their cutting-edge facility in Concord, NC. They offer in-house manufacturing, warehousing, inventory control, delivery service, design service, digital printing, sample making, and other packaging and display services for businesses inside and outside of Cabarrus County.

Ketchie Inc. has continuously grown since its formation in 1947; from a textile job shop serving the local mills to a third generation, ISO certified, woman-owned corporation operating CNC equipment. They are a full-service precision machine shop that is able to provide scalable comprehensive supply solutions for both government and commercial clients. Ketchie ships parts to all 50 states and across 5 continents from its home base in Concord, NC.

“The companies that are participating in Grow Cabarrus are already seeing real value in the data that has been provided by the National Center for Economic Gardening,” says Page Castrodale, Existing Industry Director at the Cabarrus EDC. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this as a resource and we can’t wait to see what long-term positive effects come out of these engagements.”

Economic Development Week reminds us that there are several approaches to growing a community’s economy. While the Cabarrus EDC has always been successful in bringing large corporations to the county and providing resources to Cabarrus’s existing industries, this initiative is all about promoting local growth for smaller-scale businesses. It’s that level of balance and dedication to community that sets the Cabarrus EDC apart as a premier economic development corporation.

For more information about Grow Cabarrus or to see if your company qualifies for a grant, visit:

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