As in any organization, the turning of a New Year is a time for chambers of commerce to reflect on accomplishments and look toward the future.
In the past year, the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce has gained 225 new members and 16 new Chairman’s Cabinet members.
Forsyth County’s unemployment rate has decreased to 6.1 percent from 2012 figures.
Nineteen new and existing companies created 624 new jobs and invested $58.9 million dollars in new capital in 2013.
Outside of the books it is the Chamber’s mission to be the voice of business, provide leadership, information and solutions to foster a strong economic environment and a superior quality of life in Cumming/Forsyth County. This is reached by focusing on various aspects that affect both the community’s business structure and quality of life.
The Chamber holds several events weekly, monthly and annually to promote networking including Member Power Networking Lunches, Business After Hours and Economic Development events. In August, the Small Business Services Center held the largest Business Expo in Chamber history with more than 1,300 attendees. In 2013, the SBSC assisted 376 small businesses by providing classes, roundtable discussions, business coaching and mentoring. This number is 39 percent greater than the number of businesses served in 2012.
The Chamber’s Director of Tourism attended three tradeshows this year to promote venues in Cumming and Forsyth County to different organizations that bring various tournaments and festivals. From these tradeshows more than 35 new leads were secured including several sporting tournaments and other events. With these events comes hotel room reservations and in 2013 alone the Chamber secured more than 4,784 hotel room nights through these events.
Economies are built upon relationship and leadership. The Chamber plays an integral part in facilitating those relationships and fostering strong leaders. It is the sole economic development entity in the community. Its partnership with the City of Cumming, Forsyth County and the Forsyth County School System makes it a strong player on the global stage.
The Chamber acts as an avenue to channel the incredible collective resources of great business people to create economic opportunity for everyone. That opportunity is what makes this community remarkable and sets it apart from so many places around the world.
In the coming year the Chamber plans to expand the reach of its economic development efforts and provide additional support to the fastest growing industry in the community: health care. With the economy in a steady upward turn, now is the time to seize the opportunities that recovery will bring.