I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve in a position that has been held by many of our community’s distinguished leaders. By virtually every measure, we live in not just one of the greatest communities in Georgia – but one of the greatest communities in the nation.
In Forsyth County, our unemployment rate has decreased to 3.5 percent. In 2017 we saw 27 new and existing companies create nearly 1,400 new jobs and more than $167 million in new capital investment. Forsyth County continues to lead the state in population growth and job growth. In addition, Forsyth County’s world class schools are internationally recognized. It’s easy to see why our community continues to be at the top of the most important lists in the country that measure prosperity and quality of life.
Outstanding communities and economies do not develop by chance. They are built on the foundation of leadership and relationships. We are blessed to have both of these in Cumming and Forsyth County. The Chamber is an integral part of facilitating those relationships and fostering strong leaders.
Your Chamber is the sole economic development entity in our community. This streamlined approach to serving the needs of business clients gives us a competitive advantage. Last year we renewed our partnership with the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and the Development Authority. The result is that in 2018 the Chamber will help foster the creation of a new, large-scale, community-wide strategic plan for economic development.
Thanks to the leadership and vision of our Board of Commissioners, we have the funding to develop a five-year plan that will be the largest undertaking of a plan in our community’s history. The plan will provide a roadmap for how we will substantially increase the commercial investment in Forsyth County and accelerate the pace of creating a more balanced tax digest. Commercial development is a key driver to ensure that residential property taxes stay low and while we continue to fund the infrastructure that drives our economy and quality of life. This plan will also identify how we will significantly expand our footprint with technology firms and further develop our reputation as the home for technology firms in Georgia.
The partnership with the City of Cumming, the Forsyth County government and the school system make us a strong player on a global stage. The Chamber will continue to work with leaders of our local governments to ensure it is clear to the business community, regionally, nationally and globally that we have a business-friendly community. Cumming and Forsyth County have already taken strong steps in that direction and I thank them for their continued support.
The Chamber is our community’s key vehicle to channel the incredible collective resources of great business people to create even greater economic opportunity for our city and county. As Chairman, I look forward to working with each of you during this exciting time as we define our future through the five-year economic development plan and expand that economic opportunity for businesses within our community.
Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce