Chamber of commerce celebrates successful year

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Officials at the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce know they will not be able to attract new businesses if the companies can’t get here.

With that in mind, they recognized two of the people who led the successful push for a $200 million transportation bond referendum, the cornerstone of which is the widening of Ga. 400 in Forsyth.

Carter Patterson and Virgilio Pérez Pascoe were honored with the Chairman’s Award at the Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Annual Dinner on Oct. 23.

The bond measure passed with 63 percent of the vote last November, bringing what the chamber has said will be much improved access to foster business development.

“I’m very honored, and while I led the campaign to get it passed, there were so many people involved in even getting it to the election,” Carter Patterson said. “I was just fortunate enough to lead to final push to get it over the line.”

He said projects spurring from the bond have “set a new standard in the state of Georgia for how municipalities can get things done in the budget-tight economy to makes lanes wider and more accessible for everyone.”

The night was filled with economic-driven highlights, including trivia that asked attendees — including many of the county’s elected officials — to guess how many hotel rooms were rented due to the tourism department or how many jobs were created this year.

Both aspects were accomplishments the chamber highlighted during the dinner.

“Most people don’t realize the impact that transportation improvements have on economic development in their community,” said Mark Bond, 2015 board chair for the chamber. “A good road system attracts businesses to the community, and that’s part of what makes things grow.”