NORTH METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — Financial services company Deluxe Corporation is boosting the resume of the Ga. 400 corridor, adding another technology operation to list of close to 1,000 others that line the stretch.
Deluxe, which has in the past specialized in tech printing services, looks to bring in some 700 high tech jobs to a new innovation and technology center in Sandy Springs.
The city agreed to waive as much as $255,000 in permit and business license fees depending on the length of the company’s office lease.
Deluxe President and CEO Barry C. McCarthy said the Perimeter area, especially along Ga. 400, distinguished itself among close to a dozen finalists for locating the office.
“We did a pretty exhaustive national search about where we would want to place our innovation and technology centers, and Georgia came high on the list,” McCarthy said. “It’s already one of the major fintech capitals of the world. The engagement of the technology community is pretty profound.”
He said the state has distinguished itself for its commitment to building a tech workforce, important to a company like Deluxe that is transforming from business services to becoming a trusted business technology company.
“[It’s] for those reasons, plus the others, close by the airport, great quality of life overall, temperate climate, affordability and all the lifestyle things that the state talks about, from the North Georgia mountains to the golden isles on the Atlantic coast,” McCarthy said.
The corridor’s reputation for attracting Fortune 1,000 companies, like Mercedes Benz, State Farm and Continental Hotel Group, also was a factor.
“We knew that meant that in the area, there would be great amenities, and obviously, if you travel the area, you can see the incredible amenities with the Perimeter Mall and all the other things that are there, plus the availability of MARTA and public transit made the area really appealing,” McCarthy said.
Another key factor in the site location, McCarthy said, is the building itself, which sits just off Ga. 400 at the Glenridge exit.
“Access is phenomenal — easy, easy, easy for our employee population,” McCarthy said.
Recruiting has already begun, but over the next few years, he said the company will continue to build its workforce to full capacity, focusing on product management, product development, application development, technology of all types, artificial intelligence, team learning, data analytics, cloud-based services and web design.
The company is targeting candidates from across the metro area, but especially those concentrated near the Ga. 400 and I-285 corridors, he said.
The city’s financial incentives were also important, not necessarily for the tax and fee saving, but for the message it sent, he said.
“It’s always helpful to see that in a community, even if the incentives aren’t massive,” McCarthy said. “It’s a huge measure about a community’s interest in having a company like ours… Beyond the incentives, the incredible warm welcome and support the city government has given us in the decision process also gave us [is] hugely important to us as a company trying to expand in the geography.”
McCarthy said he hopes to return the favor by providing value to the community.
“We are a purpose and values-driven company,” he said. “We are champions for business, so communities thrive. And, we really mean that…We fundamentally believe that business is at the heart of what makes a community go.”
Katie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce said McCarthy has been an integral force in metro Atlanta’s financial technology community for years.
“The decision to locate Deluxe’s new FinTech and Customer Innovation Center and office complex here demonstrates Barry’s commitment to our region and highlights our continued reputation as a fintech leader,” she said.