Businesses were much in the spotlight last week, serving as a powerful reminder that the county continues to be blessed with the benefits of a local economy built on a firm foundation of successful small commercial enterprises.
While certainly not immune to the financial woes that have afflicted the nation in recent years, the county has fared better than most, thanks largely to a positive business climate and successful commercial entrepreneurs.
Several of those were on hand Tuesday for the inaugural Business Showcase sponsored by the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Lanier Technical College conference center.
The new chamber event — described by some as a combination of the chamber’s monthly Business After Hours and its annual Business Expo — proved more successful than organizers expected, with 48 display booths selling out in just three days.
In addition to participating businesses, the event drew a crowd of some 200 spectators, who walked the aisles, visited with presenters, and learned more about what some local businesses have to offer.
Considering the level of interest it generated, the event, which offered a chance for local businesses of all sizes to explain their products and show their wares, seems likely to become an annual affair for the chamber.
On the heels of the Business Showcase came Thursday’s Business Awards Luncheon, also hosted by the chamber.
This annual event is held specifically to honor and recognize the achievements of small businesses in the community, and to serve as a reminder that the strength of any community’s economy is dependent upon the success of small businesses.
With Congressmen Rob Woodall and Doug Collins on hand, several businesses with varying numbers of employees were recognized for enterprising accomplishment.
Also at the luncheon, Steve Bloom, who has mentored more than 20 businesses through the chamber’s SCORE program, was presented with a special award which will in the future carry his name.
Woodall, perhaps, best summed up the story of the Forsyth business climate when he said, “If [other federal leaders] came from the kinds of communities that Doug and I come from – communities like this one that celebrate entrepreneurs, that celebrate risk taking, that celebrate success – we’d have an entirely different conversation in Washington D.C.”
When business is good, everyone benefits. Last week’s events served as a reminder that business is, indeed, good in Forsyth.