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Toombs Receives AA Rating

Toombs Receives AA Rating
ABUNDANCE OF RESOURCES – Toombs County’s “AA” BDO rating ensures the biomass and timber industries that the area is rich with resources to continue to grow their businesses.
Toombs Receives AA Rating
ABUNDANCE OF RESOURCES – Toombs County’s “AA” BDO rating ensures the biomass and timber industries that the area is rich with resources to continue to grow their businesses.

After a recent feasibility study conducted by the Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone Initiative, Toombs County has received an “AA” rating — the second highest available — for its resources for potential biomanufacturing products.

“We’re always looking for ways to remove barriers and market our area,” Toombs County Development Authority (TCDA) Executive Director Michele Johnson commented. “This rating helps to open us up to both new businesses and expansion of existing businesses.”

According to Johnson, the TCDA recently received a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant, which funded the feasibility study. The Authority members agreed that the study was appropriate, as the agency has been contacted several times by those within the biomass industry which uses forestry residuals — or the materials left in the wooded areas after trees have been cut.

During the study, the Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone Initiative assessed the feedstock supply, supply chain strength, and sound infrastructure of the area’s bioproducts. Several local professionals continued from page

served as subject matter experts on the Independent Review Company, including Trent Williams, Andy Kimbell, Aries Haygood, Vince Stanley, Tommy Rollins, Monroe Goss, Jason Edenfield, Travis DeLoach, Garrett Wilcox, Shane Harrellson, and Eric White.

“Because we live in the Timber Belt, this AA BDO Zone rating is very advantageous to us,” Stanley emphasized. “This initiative basically gives us the needed worldwide advertistment that our area has tremendous timber and biomass resources that can be utilized in a sustainable way.”

He continued, “If industry comes to take advantage of these resources that may be replenished, then jobs come with it. Plus, it gives our local landowners another option to their timberland management, along with new markets for their land products.”

The study focused on the area within a 75-mile radius of Lyons, and determined that the land and community had several assets including a highly productive forest products industry that guarantees a stable supply of biomass, a forestry supply chain that is well-established and efficient, state and county government support of the forest products industry, industrial and transportation infrastructure that is compatible with large-scale bioeconomy projects, and a pro-business community with low operating costs and a relaxed quality of life.

These assets earned the County an AA rating, meaning that the area has all of the supplies and resources necessary for biomass industries to thrive by locating here. “This rating tells other companies what we have,” Johnson explained. “Through this rating, potential investors and existing companies know that we have everything they need to be successful and expand.”

TCDA Chair Tim Truxel also commented on the rating. “The ‘AA’ rating for Toombs County demonstrates our community’s unique capabilities for global leadership in the bioeconomy,” he said. “We look forward to partnering with bioenergy, biochemical, and bioproduct companies as we seek to promote, develop, and cultivate additional compatible uses of continued from page

forestry resources to grow world-class bio-based industrial manufacturing opportunities for Toombs County.”

BDO Zone Initiative Chairman Jordan Solomon added, “Achieving a rare ‘AA’ investment grade rating is a significant accomplishment, accompanied with over a million tons of project-available biomass positions the Toombs County BDO Zone at the forefront of potential biobased innovation and development not only within the state but on a global scale.”

To see the full Zone rating for Toombs County, or to learn more about the initiative, visit www.

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