Regional Economic Forecast… Healthcare Sector Growing FAST!

North Georgia business class participates in regional economic forecast
by University Relations

(Jan. 20, 2011) – Healthcare has overtaken poultry as the region’s top industry, according to research by students in the Mike Cottrell School of Business at North Georgia College & State University. The students’ research was presented as part of the 2011 Norton Native Intelligence economic forecast presented to a crowd of hundreds at the Georgia Mountains Center on Thursday night.

Frank Norton Jr., president of The Norton Agency, a regional insurance and real estate firm based in Gainesville, presented the 24th edition of the Native Intelligence forecast, and told the audience that the region will evolve, not recover from the economic downturn that has impacted the entire country.

Norton’s annual Native Intelligence forecast features information about the region’s economy, leadership and trends to watch. This year’s report featured work conducted by a special studies class in the Mike Cottrell School of Business.

The students’ work was presented as part of Norton’s 10 trends that bear watching. The class, led by Dr. John Scott and Norton, reported that healthcare revenue for the North Georgia region increased from $2.24 billion in 2002 to $3.78 billion in 2007 – a rate of 11 percent annually.

“Poultry is still strong in North Georgia, but healthcare is growing at a faster rate,” Norton said. “The North Georgia area is positioned for incredible opportunities to grow and thrive, but should focus on taking the necessary steps to lay the groundwork for the healthcare service that the population will demand.”

The annual forecast is attended by politicians, business leaders, and civic leaders throughout the region. The Norton Agency collects and interprets wealth of regional data to identify risks and opportunities for North Georgia’s communities.

Regarding the state of the region’s economy and growth, Norton said, “The market is getting better…it is in a state of recovery but the future will be vastly different.”

The 2011 forecast is available online at

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