Last December when I shared Forsyth County’s vision for 2020, none of us could have imagined what was in store for us this year. As a global pandemic arrived in our community, it provided Forsyth County an opportunity to showcase our resiliency and ability to weather situations like this.

Our community came through this strong. We maintained our AAA bond ratings and will be ending 2020 in a good financial position. We completed and continued projects that brought upgrades and additions to roads, parks, fire stations and other county facilities and amenities.

We continued to provide county services through new and innovative processes. As part of our COVID-19-related declarations, we included numerous actions that relaxed restrictions and eased processes to assist the business community facing operational challenges like never before. 

Additionally, working with the Chamber of Commerce, we provided $1.86 million in direct cash grants to 319 small and medium-sized businesses in our county.

And in the midst of all that 2020 brought, we were able to set the stage for continued success in 2021.

In the new year, we will continue to leverage the strength of Forward Forsyth, the partnership that includes Forsyth County, the Chamber, the Development Authority, Forsyth County Schools and our institutions of higher learning, Lanier Tech and the University of North Georgia. 

Forward Forsyth has become a strong economic development arm for Forsyth County.  Working in conjunction with the Partnership and the Chamber, Forsyth County Government adopted and has been executing a five-year economic development strategic plan with strategies and actions to meet the partnership’s vision, which is:  “Leading Forsyth County residents toward increased economic prosperity and a better quality of place for all.”

This vision aligns so well with the County’s Vision, which ends by saying that we want Forsyth County to “remain a healthy, safe and compelling place in which to live, work, recreate, visit and invest.”

Although I will be stepping out of the Chairman role in 2021, I will still be an active member of the Board of Commissioners.  I look forward to working with my fellow board members in 2021.  We stand ready for new challenges, confident in our community’s strengths, encouraged by our resiliency and committed to further improving the quality of life for all Forsyth County residents.

— Lauren Semanson, Forsyth County Commissioner

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