FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County’s growth and expansion this year has brought about $45 million in new capital investment a chamber of commerce leader charged with economic development told planning commissioners.
Randall Toussaint, vice president of economic development at the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Forsyth County Planning Commission during their work session on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
“We are now at a point where we are seeing companies looking to grow in their markets,” Toussaint said.
Toussaint said this year there has been $44.8 million and about 18 new capital investment projects in the county due to the chamber’s actively pursuing leads and attracting new businesses to the area.
About 520 new jobs will likely be generated, he said.
Forbes Magazine recently ranked Forsyth County the seventh fastest growing community in America, for the second time. The county was first named in the list in 2010. The magazine has also called the community the 13th affluent and wealthiest in the country.
“There’s a new shift, five years ago if you would have asked me what is the most important thing a company pays attention to, during their recruitment or expansion, I would have told you, it’s all about incentives, now it’s completely different,” Toussaint said. “Companies are more interested in now is ‘What is the quality of life like?’”
Cumming and Forsyth County was ranked last year for the second time as one of the nation's 100 best communities for young people, according to America's Promise Alliance.
“We don’t just go out and recruit any company, we go at a specific target market,” he said. “Our fastest growing market is healthcare.”
Toussaint said that Northside Hospital Forsyth is an anchor in the community. After the hospital completed their Women’s Center there were about 2,000 births just in their first year.
This caught the attention of Children’s Healthcare, which opened a facility at the Collection at Forsyth.
Toussaint said pharmaceutical and logistics companies have also shown interest in the community.
Some of the challenges the chamber has heard from businesses is improving Ga. 400.
Transportation is the No. 1 complaint from companies thinking about relocation.
“What we do is business retention, Toussaint said, “making sure the local economy is fruitful in order to help grow a company.”