CreateHere mission almost accomplished

photo Helen Davis Johnson is co-founder of CreateHere, which has helped entrepreneurs found more than 110 local businesses.

The world of civic associations can roughly be divided into two types: established organizations staffed by suave professionals and boisterous groups that attract fresh-faced youth, ready to change the world.

Chattanooga-based CreateHere, which is about to disappear forever, was intended to be the latter.

Through five years, the Lyndhurst Foundation-backed group set up shop on Main Street and helped entrepreneurs found more than 110 local businesses with projected sales of more than $8 million. CreateHere conducted what it calls the world's largest visioning project, collecting more than 26,000 survey responses in record time, and relocated dozens of artists downtown to jump-start the creative economy.