Chamber Releases 2010 Year-End Report


For Immediate Release
January 4, 2011

Contact: Tim Evans
Vice President, Economic Development
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
770-532-6206 ext 107

Chamber Releases 2010 Year-End Report
65% Increase in Jobs and Double the Investment Over 2009

Gainesville-GA – 1/4/11: Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council 2010 year-end report includes 867 new jobs and $217 million in investments from 16 businesses. “That is great in any year, but especially this year. We need the jobs,” said Kit Dunlap, President and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “This success confirms the private investments businesses have made in the Chamber’s Hallmark Initiative to support economic development.” The total jobs and investment for 2010 represents a 65% increase in jobs and double the investment over the previous year.

Gainesville-Hall County’s economic development efforts are coordinated with a unified public-private partnership – the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council (EDC). EDC stakeholders include the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, Hall County and the Cities of Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Lula. The EDC’s 52-member board is comprised of business and elected leadership in Gainesville-Hall County and chaired by Lanier Technical College President Russell Vandiver. The EDC is a division of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, and the dedicated staff coordinates marketing and sales activities in business recruitment, existing industry, small business and retail development.

“Creating new jobs is the foundation for building a healthy economy,” said Darrell Snyder, 2011 Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to the efforts of our members and community partners, these new jobs and investments will help our community continue with the progress that has made the area so attractive for quality growth.”

The 2010 year-end figures include investments from new and existing industries. New investments included American Yazaki Corporation (Japan), GMI (Scotland), ZF Wind Power (Germany) and King’s Hawaiian (California). For many of these new industries, the bulk of their permanent job hiring will take place in 2011. Several of the existing industry expansions, like IMS (Germany) and elringklinger (Germany), began hiring additional staff in 2010.

“Our existing industry program is a cornerstone of the Chamber and Economic Development Council’s job creation and retention effort for the community,” said Russell Vandiver, Chairman of the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council. “As a community, we’ve survived a real consolidation period in U.S. manufacturing, and I credit the Existing Industry Program.” In addition to the new jobs and investment, the EDC announcements included industries that retained 115 existing jobs that might have otherwise gone elsewhere. The EDC’s existing industry program provides ongoing professional assistance to support, retain and expand Hall County businesses.

“Existing industry executives are among the first people that new industry representatives contact for discussion and input,” said Shelley Davis, Vice President of Existing Industry for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “Any business owner knows that your best source of new business is to take care of your existing customers first.”

2010 events included the dedication of the new Gainesville Business Park, a 175-acre industrial development partnership between the City of Gainesville, Hall County, Pattillo Industrial Real Estate and the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority. “We completed the infrastructure in the new park on March 17, and by April 23 we were announcing the first industry with ZF Wind Power LLC,” said Tom Oliver, Chairman of the Hall County Commission. “It’s a real testament to what we can all achieve by working together.”

Hall County residents will continue to see redevelopment activity in the urban centers of Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Lula. These cities are actively leveraging public investment in their downtown areas to encourage additional private investment, as in the new Weaver Law building in Gainesville and the City View Center project. “Investing in a healthy downtown is vital to the entire community,” said City of Gainesville Mayor Ruth Bruner. “Our downtown areas should be places where citizens from the county and region want to do business and spend their free time.”

“I’m as upbeat about 2011 as I have been in recent years,” said Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “We have a great community, location, workforce and an all-star team of business and elected leadership.” The EDC staff is currently working with 55 active projects including new businesses, existing industry expansions, small businesses and retail development. “We have some retail and industrial announcements on the horizon in early 2011,” said Evans. “The UGA Terry College of Business has forecasted a robust year ahead for manufacturing, life sciences and the service sector, and we are well positioned to benefit from that expected growth.”

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