Gainesville-Hall County Ranks TOP 10 – Again!

The Greater Hall Chamber Economic Development Council (EDC) reports both Site Selection Magazine and the Milken Institute named the Gainesville-Hall County Metro (MSA) to their recently released Top 10 rankings for economic development.

Site Selection Magazine released their top state and metros for 2020 project locations, and Gainesville-Hall County was ranked 6th among Metro Areas with population up to 200,000.  Gainesville-Hall County was the highest ranked Metro in Georgia for the category, and moved up six places from 12th in 2019.  The Gainesville-Hall County Metro Area has landed in Site Selection’s top 10 Small Metro Areas for eight of the last 10 years.  Site Selection 2020 Top Metros

In late February 2021, The Milken Institute released its ranking of 2020 Best Performing Metros, and the Gainesville-Hall County MSA ranked 9th in the top-10 Best Performing Small Metros. The Gainesville-Hall County MSA has been ranked in the Milken Institute’s Top 10 Best Performing Small Metros for five consecutive years.  Milken Institute Best Performing Cities

In January 2021, the Greater Hall Chamber announced 2020 year-end results with 12 new and expanding firms’ plans to add 460 new jobs and $200 million in new capital investment to Gainesville-Hall County.  2020 was a year full of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for our healthcare service providers, the hospitality industry and small business.  However, there have been encouraging announcements and developments in 2020 that indicate better than average economic performance for Gainesville-Hall County when compared to other Metro Areas in Georgia and the Nation.

“The Chamber’s public-private partnership in economic development has engaged leadership in business, education and government to work together on major issues,” said Kit Dunlap, President & CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

New corporate facilities announced in 2020 included the new South Hall facilities for Amazon, Fitueyes, ADD-USA, Dongwon Tech and the Agile Cold Storage facility under construction on Athens Highway.  Existing industry expansions announced during the year included expansions at Hydro, PPG, Cantrell-Gainco and Corporate Storage.  The 2020 year-end results do not include projects that were previously announced and currently under construction, like Kubota’s new R&D facility, Fox Factory or the expansion at Mars-Wrigley.

Several of the job placements and investments announced in 2020 have taken place, but others, like Agile Cold Storage and Kubota’s new R&D facility, will add their investment and jobs to the local economy in 2021.  More recent announcements, including Cottrell and Makita, are just beginning to mobilize their development efforts and will count toward future rankings in 2022.

Georgia has earned the #1 ranking for its business environment for an unprecedented eighth year in a row, and during that time, Gainesville-Hall County has been the top job producing Metropolitan Area in the state on a number of comparisons. In addition to the Milken Institute and Site Selection rankings, Forbes Magazine has rated Gainesville-Hall County as one of the “Best Small Places for Business & Careers” for the last six years. Since 2015, the Chamber’s economic development program has assisted 120 new and expanding businesses that have announced 5,750 jobs and $1.6 billion in new capital investment.

“Our success is a direct result of long-term partnerships with existing industries, commercial real estate professionals and Georgia’s best-in-class economic development community,” said Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

In the most recent 12-month data, the Georgia Department of Labor reports the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Area is finishing the year with an unemployment rate at 3.5 percent.  More than 60 employers have job openings posted on the Greater Hall Chamber’s website seeking full and part time employees.

Gainesville-Hall County’s past success in economic development has been a product of community leadership working together on infrastructure planning and investment to support business growth.  In 2021, the initial infrastructure development in the new +1,300 acre Gainesville 85 Business Park will be important to developing a future place to grow for expanding existing industries and new businesses.