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July 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

E c o no m ic D e ve lo pme n t



Silver Shovel Award Recipients

Economic Development Review The Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is among the top 50 fastest growing metros in the nation. Businesses make long-term investments in our community because of its stability, skilled workforce, visionary leadership and quality of life. Fiscal year end (7/1/16-6/30/17) summary includes 30 expanded and new investments, 1,260 new jobs, 250 retained and $198 million in new investment.

2016-2017 Silver Shovel Award Recipients were recognized at the Greater Hall Chamber Board of Directors Meeting in June. The awards are presented annually to outstanding Chamber volunteers for dedication and service. (Seated, L-R): John Breakfield, State Court Judge; Brett Fowler, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance; Andy Kalinauskas, Conditioned Air Systems; David Dickerson, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker; Rope Roberts, Georgia Power. (Standing, L-R): Stacey Poole, McDonald's NEGA; John Simpson, Lakeview Academy; Darryl Workman, BrandBank; Lila Westmoreland, Brenau University; Caroline Lewallen, Jaemor Farms; Madeline Wirt, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker; Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial Corporation; Louise Dufour-Zavala, Georgia Poultry Lab Network; Brent Cook, Georgia Department of Transportation. Not pictured, Greg Vitek, IMS Gear.

#1 in State of Georgia, Again! The Gainesville-Hall Economic Development Council (EDC) recently celebrated three outstanding years of leadership with out-going EDC Chairman, Brian Rochester, Rochester & Associates. The group celebrated Rochester's Famous Theory: "Gainesville-Hall County was ranked the #1 Economic Development Community in Georgia by Site Selection magazine. Georgia has been ranked the #1 Community for Business/Jobs in the United States for four years in a row. It is well known the USA is the greatest economy and nation on Planet Earth. As far as we know, Earth is the only inhabited planet in our Galaxy and the known Universe. Therefore, Gainesville-Hall County is the #1 place for Business in the #1 State in the Universe." During Brian’s three-year term as Chairman of the EDC, 75 expanding and new businesses announced or finalized plans to hire nearly 3,700 new positions and invest $678 million. The EDC is a public-private partnership of the Greater Hall Chamber, Hall County and the Cities of Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Lula and Oakwood and provides one-stop marketing and economic development services to support the community’s efforts in existing industry retention, new business recruitment, small business development and retail development. The Chamber's 2017-2018 Economic Development Team is lead by Chairman David Lee, Jackson EMC; Chairman-Elect Dr. Ray Perren, Lanier Technical College; Tim Evans, Chamber Vice President of Economic Development; Shelley Davis, Vice President of Existing Industry, and Project Managers Amanda Lewis and Peyton Wilhoite.

Now in its 3rd year, the Greater Hall Workforce Development Task Force is proactive in keeping our community on the leading edge of providing skill ready employees for area businesses. Since launching the initiative in 2015, the number of work-based learning students employed in manufacturing has quadrupled. Recognized for our pro-business efforts, Forbes Magazine has rated Gainesville-Hall County among “Best Small Places for Business & Careers” for the last four years. In 2016, Site Selection Magazine named Georgia the #1 State for Business for the 4th year in a row. Area Development and CNBC also rated Georgia top in the nation for new business and expansion. The Milken Institute Report named the Gainesville-Hall County Metro area as the Top Small Metro area in Georgia, # 4 in the nation for job growth and in the Top 10 in the nation for Best Performing Small Metros. There are 49 international company locations from 19 countries in Gainesville-Hall County, employing 8,700 workers. One-third of goods producing employees in our community work locally for foreign-owned firms. Hall County is a leader in agribusiness and food processing. Garner Economics ranked the Gainesville-Hall MSA as the highest concentrated metro area for food manufacturing and processing in the United States, with over 10,000 employees. Gainesville-Hall County still reigns as Northeast Georgia’s primary trade area serving over 500,000 residents with significant retail growth at the I-985/Highway 365 and Dawsonville Highway 53 corridors as well as in South Hall.


Business Link; Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce


Business Link; Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce