Economic Development: A Key Priority by Chamber

Chairman Darrell Snyder, Georgia Power Company

When I mention our theme of Vision, Value and Teamwork, the first area that comes to mind for many of our members is economic development. Economic development is a key priority of the community and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. This not only includes the recruitment of new business and industry, but also the retention of existing industry. In fact, most of the growth in new jobs comes from existing businesses and industries that are already in the community. That is why the Greater Hall Chamber places such a strong focus on understanding the issues that are impacting local businesses and working to develop programs that meet those needs.

Did you know that over 150 visits were made by the Chamber staff to existing businesses in the past year to assist with expansions, human resource issues, and other business needs?

Manufacturing continues to be a strong foundation in our community including long-time industries such as food processing and textiles and continued growth around automotive, life science, and other industries. The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce also continues to actively recruit retail businesses by working with the commercial real estate community.

By planning for the future, our community has been able to develop business and industrial parks suitable to the needs of expanding industry and provide a great resource to market to businesses looking to create much needed jobs and investment. Infrastructure improvements continue to play a valuable role in recruitment and retention. Several recent plant expansions and new industry locations in Hall County show the tremendous value in having the necessary land and infrastructure available.

The Manufacturing Development Center, established with the coordination of Lanier Technical College, has become a valuable asset for new business start-up by providing professional assistance on business models and creating a collaborative effort among entrepreneurs.

Gainesville-Hall County has been one of the fastest growing MSA’s (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Growth in development has slowed, but our top priority of creating value for our business members hasn’t changed. Our small business development continues with a new seminar each month to help companies with marketing, financing, customer service and a variety of other topics.

Networking events such as the monthly Leads Group and Network Over Coffee give opportunities for business associates to provide information on their products and services, meet potential customers, and build relationships that can help them be more successful.

The many attractions in the Greater Hall County community including lake activities, arts programs, and the great park and recreation facilities all help to promote the community as a great place to live, work and play. Our excellent network of healthcare professionals and facilities also provides a great promotional asset to new and existing businesses.

The Chamber promoted Buy Local Business Expo continues to be a tremendous annual success, and the recent Job Fair coordinated with the Department of Labor had an estimated 3,500 attendees with approximately 80 businesses/employers participating.

Economic development and workforce recruitment and retention are vital to the success of our economy. The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce continues a strong history of commitment in helping build a successful pro-business community.

Get involved with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and see the difference that you can make. If you have any questions on economic development, please contact our economic development staff including Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development; Shelley Davis, Vice President of Existing Industry; or, Brittany Holtzclaw, Project Manager, at 770-532-6206.