Smart Asset survey ranks county No.1
BY KATHLEEN STURGEON
Smart Asset, a New York-based financial technology company, recently completed a study on counties in Georgia receiving the greatest amount of investment in their local economies. Among the counties, Forsyth not only ranked in the top 10, but ranked first.
“The study ranks Forsyth County among the top recipients of investment in Georgia due to such factors as business establishment growth, GDP growth, new building permits and municipal bond investment,” said Randall Toussaint, vice president of Economic Development for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce (CFCCoC).
Forsyth County’s business growth is 6.6 percent. Smart Asset ‘looked at the change in the number of businesses established in each location over a two-year period. This shows whether people are starting new business ventures in the county.’ James McCoy, president of the CFCCoC, said Forsyth County ranks sixth in the state and 163 in the nation.
Forsyth’s GDP growth, as a measurement of business activity, is sixth in Georgia with $440 million. For new building permits per 1,000 homes, Forsyth is first in the state with 39.1 per 1,000 homes.
The final factor Smart Asset considered was investment in municipal bonds. The survey said Smart Asset ‘found the average municipal bonds raised by a county over the last five years, which we divided by the population. This gave us a per capita look at investment in local government or agencies.’ Forsyth County’s municipal bonds as measured by the average amount raised over the last five years per person ranked 9th in the state with $514, and the incoming investment index is .85.
Other counties on the list included Gwinnett (ranked 10), Cherokee (ranked 5) and Oconee (ranked 2).
“There are many ways to measure local economic health,” McCoy said. “They combine these factors to consider where money is being invested as a measure of economic health. We scored well in each of these areas, which gave us a strong ranking compared to other communities.”
There is a very vibrant and robust business community in Forsyth County, McCoy said. “While much of the attention is focused on residential growth, business growth in Forsyth County is very strong as well,” McCoy said. “There is a broad diversity of new investment in our community.”
Although the study focused on one measure of economic health, McCoy said it’s an important one.
It also helps to communicate internally and externally that Forsyth County has an excellent atmosphere to grow your business and see a return on your investment, McCoy said.
“Low taxes, a business friendly regulatory environment, world class schools and strong collaboration and support among businesses will ensure that we continue to perform well in the four factors they measure,” McCoy said.
To see the survey, visit http://smartasset.com/investing/investment-calculator#Georgia.