WWC | Chamber of Commerce

2017 Eggs & Issues Breakfast Recap

2017 Eggs & Issues Breakfast Recap

The Georgia Chamber Celebrates Start of 2017 Legislative Session The Georgia Chamber of Commerce was honored to host Georgians from all across the state for their annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center on January 10, 2017. State and federal lawmakers, business leaders, and guests gathered to kick-off the 2017 session of the Georgia General Assembly by hearing from our state’s foremost policy makers. In opening remarks, 2017 Georgia Chamber Chairman Bill Linginfelter focused on “Georgia 2030”, the Chamber’s strategic plan to meet the next decade’s challenges. According to Linginfelter, his priority for the year ahead would be, “to continue to work with our elected leaders to protect the positive, pro-business reputation of Georgia.” Welcoming the sellout crowd, Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark described his vision for 2017. Clark cited early engagement in the 2018 election cycle, protecting and improving Georgia’s legal environment, and using the GeorgiaLeads program to strengthen Georgia’s workforce, as a few of his top priorities. Furthermore, Clark unveiled plans to expand the Chamber’s footprint in rural Georgia and take the their strategic plan statewide with the newly chartered “Authentic Georgia” initiative. “We are excited to announce that for the first time in our history, the Chamber will open a regional office in Tifton, Georgia in 2017,” Clark announced Tuesday. Attendees at the 2017 Eggs & Issues Breakfast were thrilled to welcome U.S Senator David Perdue via video address. Perdue elaborated on new opportunities to advance pro-business policies in our nation’s capital. Perdue told guests, “There is a sense of urgency in Washington to get things done and I’m excited to get to work.” The Chamber was also honored to welcome Governor Nathan Deal to Eggs & Issues and hear his plans for the 2017 legislative session. Under Governor Deal’s leadership, “Georgia” has become synonymous with job growth and economic prosperity, and his priorities for the upcoming year look to continue our state’s successes. In their addresses, both Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Speaker David Ralston pledged to continue keeping Georgia open for business while addressing needs for education reform and transportation investment, respectively. With over 2,300 attendees, the Georgia Chamber’s 2017 Eggs and Issues Breakfast was a resounding...

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GACCE Announces 2015-16 Executive Committee and Board Members

GACCE Announces 2015-16 Executive Committee and Board Members

The Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) is proud to announce its 2015-16 Executive Committee: Chair – Yulonda Darden Beauford, GCCE, Clayton County Chamber Chair-Elect – Daniel Jackson, GCCE, Carroll County Chamber First Vice Chair/Secretary – Tommy Jennings, Barrow County Chamber Second Vice Chair/Treasurer – Brian Anderson, GCCE, Greater Columbus Chamber Immediate Past Chair – Dinah Rowe, GCCE, Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber GACCE has also placed the following members on its Board of Directors: Region 1 – Denise Duncan, Pickens County Chamber Region 2 – Christie Haynes, Dawson County Chamber Region 3 – Stephanie Snodgrass, Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber Region 4 – Lori Showalter Smith, GCCE, Thomaston-Upson County Chamber Region 5 – Bob Hughes, Madison-Morgan County Chamber Region 6 – Roddie Anne Blackwell, Eatonton-Putnam Chamber Region 7 – Sue Parr, GCCE, Augusta Metro Chamber Region 7 – Tammy Shepherd, GCCE, Columbia County Chamber Region 8 – Angela Smith, Sumter County Chamber Region 9 – Keri Crosby, Baxley-Appling County Chamber Region 10 – Kyle Kornegay, Blakely-Early County Chamber Region 11 – Eva Byrd, Waycross-Ware County Chamber Region 12 – Mandy Harrison, Darien-McIntosh County Chamber Permanent Appointment – Chris Clark – Georgia Chamber Ex-Officio Appointment – Saralyn Stafford – Georgia DCA Ex-Officio Appointment – Mary Ellen McClanahan – GDEcD Ex-Officio Appointment – Kevin Shea – GEDA The following members were also placed on the Board to fill one-year appointments at the discretion of the GACCE Chair: April Bragg, Robins Regional Chamber Katerina Taylor, DeKalb Chamber Cindy Williams, Blairsville-Union County Chamber The 2015-16 Executive Committee and Board of Directors began their term July 1, 2015. The GACCE Board of Directors were officially announced during the association’s 2015 Executive Leadership Conference at Jekyll Island Club Hotel held last week. GACCE is the professional society of chamber executives and staff. The mission of GACCE is to educate, engage, and empower chamber...

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Georgia’s top 10 best cities to start a business

Georgia’s top 10 best cities to start a business

“Some of Georgia’s biggest cities — Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta and Savannah — have the largest number of businesses in the state, but the most profitable businesses are in the suburbs and smaller cities,” the website reported. “Six places in the top 10, each with a population under 60,000, boast higher average revenue per business than the state’s most populous cities.” Phil W. Hudson Staff Writer – Atlanta Business Chronicle Link to the actual Atlanta Business Chronicle online article GA is consistently ranked as one of the top states to start a business. But where is the best place in the Peach State to launch a company? NerdWallet reported Georgia’s suburbs are turning a profit. But, location still may be the most important factor. “All of the top 10 cities are along major transportation routes, a plus for businesses shipping products around the region or the country,” NerdWallet reported. “Proximity to Atlanta doesn’t hurt, either. Four of the 10 best places are within 30 miles of Georgia’s largest city.”   Best places to start a business in Georgia and the reasons behind it, according to NerdWallet: 1. Alpharetta With almost 60,000 residents, Alpharetta is the largest city in the top 10. It has nearly 9,000 businesses, which average over $6.9 million in revenue per business each year, more than any city on this list. Alpharetta is part of the Georgia 400 corridor, a road that stretches along state Route 400 from north Georgia to the Atlanta metro area. The corridor is a major transit route, has a strong fiber optic network and has given Alpharetta and Cumming, also in the top 10, a major economic boost. 2. Doraville Doraville’s average revenue per business ($5,361,780) is second only to Alpharetta. The city’s proximity to Atlanta, major transportation routes and two of the state’s largest airports make it a prime location for businesses. Doraville is redeveloping a former General Motors plant, which closed in 2009, to serve as a business and community center dubbed “Assembly.” A movie studio, Third Rail Studios, is set to anchor part of the development, which also has ample space for retail, dining and other businesses. 3. Vinings Home to over 1,700 business, Vinings is in a favorable location between two major interstates and 10 minutes from downtown Atlanta. More than 35 percent of the city’s businesses have paid employees, contributing to Vinings’ unemployment rate of 2.5 percent,...

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GACCE Announces 2014
Class of Georgia Certified Chambers

GACCE Announces 2014 Class of Georgia Certified Chambers

It’s an exciting time to be in the chamber industry and to be a chamber in Georgia. Many chambers have risen to the challenge during these tough economic times to provide unparralled leadership and direction, helping their members and communities thrive. This type of performance is a reflection of the solid organizational infrastructure built through much hard work and diligence. In 2011, the GACCE Board of Directors sought a way to recognize chambers in the state that have focused internally on their operations to assess their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to create efficient, effective organizations positioned to deliver great value. Thus the Georgia Certified Chamber program was created. The program is modeled after the U.S. Chamber’s accreditation program. The purpose of the program is to facilitate continuing excellence in the chamber industry and to foster a pro-business environment across the State of Georgia. Chambers must meet standards in organization, service intent and capacity, professional administration, financial management, communications, and advocacy in order to achieve the Georgia Certified Chamber designation. With over 150 chambers in the State of Georgia, the seven chambers that were recognized as Georgia Certified Chambers during the Opening Luncheon of the 2014 GACCE Volunteer Leader Conference held at the Marriott Macon City Center in Macon, GA on November 6 received a prestigious honor that distinguishes the high quality, expertise, and strong leadership displayed by accredited chambers. These seven chambers join 40 other chamber members that have been recognized with this distinction over the past three years. The following chambers make up the 2014 class of Georgia Certified Chambers: Americus-Sumter County Chamber Fannin County Chamber Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Chamber Greater Macon Chamber Randolph County Chamber Waycross-Ware County Chamber White County Chamber GACCE congratulates these chambers for their accomplishment! GACCE is the professional society for chamber executives and staff. The mission of GACCE is to engage, educate and empower chamber...

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Waycross | Ware County: Redirecting Progress SPLOST, swamp and Mayo

Waycross | Ware County: Redirecting Progress SPLOST, swamp and Mayo

Kevin Hogencamp Georgia Trend While local sales tax referendums are just about as familiar in Georgia as hot summers, there was something extraordinary about a tax question posed to Ware County residents in May. The citizens in this Southeast Georgia county were asked to reconsider their decision six years earlier to allocate $1.5 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds toward the construction of a speculative building with hopes of luring a yet-to-be-determined industry to town. “As it turned out, it was really a mistake because there were already about 90 vacant spec buildings in Georgia,” says Jimmy Brown, chairman of the Ware County Board of Commissioners. “We clearly didn’t need another spec building in Georgia, certainly not in Ware County, and it wasn’t right to build one just because we had the SPLOST money set aside. “We weren’t going to spend the money on something voters didn’t approve. That’s not the way we do things here in Ware County. So we asked the voters whether they wanted to give us other options by redirecting the $1.5 million.” Blunder averted. Voters agreed by a 2-1 margin to allow the Waycross-Ware County Development Authority to nix the spec building idea and instead to court new industry with a land purchase or industrial park upgrade. “We believed the voters of Ware County would see the opportunity – and they did,” says Danny Yarbrough, development authority chairman and operator of Yarbrough’s Office Products & Printing in downtown Waycross. Georgia Municipal Association and ACCG officials say Ware apparently is the only county to modify a SPLOST-funded project under provisions of a 2011 state law allowing for approved projects to be abandoned – with voter approval – upon being deemed infeasible. Community leaders said putting the sales tax question on the ballot, along with adequately educating citizens about the measure’s intentions and implications, was part ingenuity and part teamwork. “I think it’s the most significant thing to happen in Ware County in many years in terms of economic development for many reasons, not the least of which was that to do so, the county and city governments, the chamber of commerce and the development authorities all had to work closely together for all the right reasons,” says Bob Hereford, development authority executive director. That’s saying a lot. The community in the heart of Southeast Georgia at the northern tip of the...

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