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Forsyth County News launches interactive initiative
Readers can help Make the Case for new restaurants, retailers
Cracker Barrel opened two years ago on Highway 20 in Cumming, fulfilling a long-held wish of many Forsyth County residents. - photo by FCN file photo

CUMMING — Cracker Barrel, Costco, Sprouts and Panera Bread. These names generated quite a buzz when residents learned the businesses were opening stores in Forsyth County.

Are there other establishments you’d like to see down the street? Maybe a certain high-end boutique or gourmet restaurant? How about a sporting goods outfitter or fast-food eatery or toy store?

If so, you’ll soon have a way to make your voice heard through the Forsyth County News.

Using the FCN’s website,, Facebook page and Twitter account, the community will be able to communicate what it considers dream businesses that don’t currently have a local presence.

After reviewing the feedback, we’ll spotlight a certain establishment each month that many people would welcome. Each feature will include comments from readers making the case for why that business should open a location here.

Appropriately enough, this monthly feature will be called “Making the Case for…”

FCN publisher Vince Johnson said the effort is a fun way for the public to help shape the landscape of Forsyth County while highlighting some of the newspaper’s Internet-based tools.

“As we move toward a more multimedia environment, we want to be engaged with our users,” Johnson said. “This platform gives our readers a chance to let their voices be heard on issues that will impact their lives, even if that just means where they buy their morning bagel.”

The initiative is being offered in collaboration with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, which could use the spotlights in its recruiting efforts.

Chamber President James McCoy said “Making the Case for …” is a great way to get the community involved in the economic development process.

“I think it will help engage the community in a dialogue that’s a two-way street,” he said. “The community gets to walk away with a better understanding of how the process actually works and the marketplace, and then we [in economic development] walk away from it having a much better understanding of what the community’s expectations and hopes are for the future.”

Johnson hopes “Making the Case for …” will be well received with many residents taking part in the online conversation.

“It’s fun to think, ‘It would be great if this business or that business came to Forsyth County,’” he said, “but it’s even more fun if your words could possibly make some small difference in the outcome.”