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Forsyth sixth county in nation for incoming investment
Incoming investment

A recent study found that Forsyth County is one of the top places for investors.

Forsyth was determined to be the county with the sixth most incoming investment in the nation based on a study done my Smart Asset. The study looked at the change in businesses over three years, GDP growth, investment and development in local real estate and deferral contracts for projects per capita. 

“What we continue to see is a very nice investment in all segments of the economy – for us, particularly in the commercial sector,” said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.

For business growth, Forsyth saw an 11.2 percent increase over three years. The national average was 0.6 percent.

“Anything above that, you are a leader in the country for business growth,” McCoy said. “Of course, that is where we spend most of our time, in a business growth segment.”

Forsyth’s highest rank among the categories was for new building permits, which was an average of 50.9 per 1,000 homes. Forsyth ranked highest in the state and third in the country, while neighboring Dawson County finished second and fifth, respectively. 

“It’s been incredibly, incredibly hot,” McCoy said. “That has been our greatest opportunity and our greatest challenge. We are blessed with all the opportunities and challenges of a growth community, and so you don’t have to drive very far in the community to see there are lots of transactions and transitions going on around the county for the use of land.”

For GDP growth, which looked at real growth in the local economy, Forsyth was $713 million. Forsyth also had of the lowest federal funding per capita rates, with an average of $15 per resident from federal contracts awarded to county businesses.

Finishing ahead of Forsyth was: Comal County, Texas; Los Angeles County, California; Wasatch, Utah; Fort Bend County, Texas; and McKenzie County, North Dakota. 

Looking at the same factors for Georgia, Forsyth was first, Dawson second, Jackson County third and Cherokee sixth.

McCoy said one of the biggest drivers of economic investment in the county is the local education system.

“I think our schools remain No. 1 on both school and commercial lists of reasons to be here,” he said. “I think further enhancing that great school reputation we have with Forsyth County Schools, enhancing that is the growing presence of the University of North Georgia and the MBA program being here.

“I think what Lanier Tech is offering here, from a commercial standpoint, that is a huge advantage for us.”