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Tour of businesses enlightens commissioners
Offers glimpse of economic growth
Forsyth County Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills listens as Jesse Whalen with CSA International talks about how the south Forsyth company uses a variety of measures to test light bulbs before they go to market. The visit was part of a chamber of commerce-organized tour of unique businesses in the county. - photo by Crystal Ledford

County commissioners were given an opportunity to tour some of the Forsyth’s most unique businesses this week.

The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce held the tour on Tuesday. With stops at Trox, Motovario, CSA International and Automation Direct, it featured firms from a broad range of fields and at varied geographical spots.

Randall Toussaint, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, said the tour was organized as a way to help county leaders understand their role in creating jobs in the community.  

“We wanted to provide our … commissioners with direct one-on-one access to some of the companies that are expanding in our community,” Toussaint said.

“This year, we have had a phenomenal year in terms of our economic development activities. We’ve worked on projects that are forecast to generate over 500 new jobs and approximately $44.8 million in new capital investment within our community.”

Those numbers have surpassed the goal for the year of $40 million in capital investment.

According to Toussaint, much of the community’s economic development success has come from county staff, which the commissioners had a chance to learn more about through the tour.

“I think one of the key benefits in hosting the tour for our county’s … commissioners is they got a chance to really see firsthand the value of what the county government has been able to contribute toward each company’s growth patterns,” he said. “That’s everyone from the planning staff all the way down to the local teams within each department, even down to business licensing.

“Everyone’s done a great job with helping to make sure that we have a great community to do business in.”

While all five of the county government’s leaders were invited to take part, only Chairman Pete Amos and commissioners Cindy Jones Mills and Jim Boff were able to attend.

Amos said the event was a good learning experience.

“You know, you see these companies from the outside, but you don’t really realize what they do inside,” he said. “I think we need to do more of this.

“You don’t realize what kinds of businesses you do have in this county until you get out here and look at them.”

Added Mills: “It gives you an idea of what’s around you and how you might attract other businesses to come here.”