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Dear Fellow Chamber Members,
To say that 2020 turned out differently than I expected is an understatement. I think very few of us expected 2020 to look as it has with all of us navigating a global health crisis. Though the workplans of the Forsyth County Chamber saw some revisions over the course of this year, I am proud that through all the uncertainty we stayed true to our mission of advancing positive business growth and community partnerships to promote a superior quality of life for all in Forsyth County.
Your Chamber was the first Chamber in Georgia to launch an economic recovery initiative and among the first in the nation to do so. The focus of the Together4FOCO initiative from day one was to provide business leaders with expertise to help them make sound business decisions, provide access to working capital and engage our residents in supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. I believe we were successful in each of these areas.
While the Chamber led the local business community in economic recovery, the organization itself thrived. We completed the construction of and relocation into a new organizational home. We were named a national 2020 Chamber of the Year Finalist by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. We lived out the brand adoption words we set in 2019 as we intentionally monitored our business community’s needs, innovatively transitioned our events and collaborated with Forsyth County Government to administer the Forsyth County CARES Small Business Relief Grant Program.
Forward Forsyth, the community’s economic development partnership, saw the creation of 528 new jobs and $110 million in new capital investment. Forward Forsyth took action to move the community’s unemployment rate (which was 10.4 percent at the end of April, 2020) to 2.8 percent by the end of November. And Forward Forsyth celebrated when Forsyth County was accepted into Georgia’s Innovation Crescent.
To learn more about the Chamber’s work in 2020, view our annual report HERE. I am so proud of our Chamber’s response to the challenges of 2020. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve our community in this capacity during such a pivotal year.
2020 Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors