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Business growth, jobs up in Forsyth County
Jobs created

It looks like it has been a busy year for attracting businesses to Forsyth County.

On Thursday, Robert Long, vice president of economic development with the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce have an update on economic development in the county this year to members of the Forsyth County Development Authority. 

“The good news is we are actually ahead of where we were at the same time last year in terms of incoming investment and jobs,” Long said. “If it hold true, then we may be on the forefront of a record year for both incoming investment and jobs.”

A handout Long gave to the group detailed projects in the county. 

Active projects
As of May, over $90 million has been invested and more than 728 jobs created from businesses in the U.S., China, France and Germany. 

“We are on a good pace and one thing is we have a lot of projects in the pipeline,” Long said.

Long said some new business may need a tax abatement similar to that of Sports Warehouse, which announced a move from California to Forsyth County earlier this year. Such incentives can make Forsyth more attractive to businesses that are relocating. 

“We approved Sports Warehouse for a pilot of tax abatement that was the first we had done in years,” he said. “I have two additional projects right now that we will refine this four, that are capital intensive, that are a tax abatement situation.

“One is an international headquarters project and the other is [research and development].”

Long said both projects would have jobs with “excellent wages.”

The chamber is improving international business by working with two companies from Germany and companies from Sweden, South Korea and the United Kingdom on active projects. Projects have also been announced for companies from China, France and Germany.

For projects active chamber projects, there are 25 attraction and 5 expansion projects and 25 domestic and five international projects. 

Retail is the most popular of the active projects with 10 businesses working with the chamber. Other sectors are: service and office, seven; manufacturing, five; distribution, four; and one each for healthcare, technology and other businesses.

The most common types of announced projects are healthcare and manufacturing, which each have five projects. Two manufacturing and one retail project have been announced.

“We’ve got a lot of things in the pipeline. Normally, this is about the time things slow down. They haven’t slowed down yet,” Long said. “There are new projects that I actually had four project meetings last week. That’s the first time I’ve had four businesses in a week since I’ve been here.”