Sandy Springs is factored into Georgia’s ranking as a top 5 place to do business, according to Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Still the Atlanta metro area falls behind such cities as Dallas, TX and Charlotte, N. C. when it comes to competitive salaries.
The good news is businesses looking to relocate have their eye on the Sandy Springs/Perimeter area, Cummiskey said, during a talk at the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber breakfast on Monday. He brings businesses and investment to Georgia through corporations, the entertainment industry, small business and trade. Last year, the Department of Economic Development worked on 221 projects from 120 countries, he said.
“Eighty percent of projects in the pipeline right now are looking into this area…Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Perimeter,” he said. And in the last General Assembly session, discretionary incentives in the metro Atlanta area went from $5 million to $78 million.
Below: See how the film industry brings in big bucks and what's filmed in Sandy Springs.
The commissioner believes Georgia will be considered the southeastern business hub of the United States,] in the next 10 years and the Sandy Springs/Perimeter area is an integral part of it.
Interestingly, Alpharetta, which was a major draw for companies ten years ago, could be too far north for some businesses today. Cummiskey mentioned new owners of a company that bought out an Alpharetta business. “They are also bringing in 200 more jobs. Folks who might not want to go all the way to Alpharetta. They’re looking at Sandy Springs, Perimeter, Dunwoody,” he said. “Sandy Springs is in a uniquely situated position.”
In growing economic development, the commissioner said a concern is how college graduates, particularly Georgia Tech students, leave the state when they complete their education.
“The goal is to keep people here. We have all these great schools and we’re here watching 45 percent of kids who graduate up and leave. The jobs are somewhere else. So we have to figure out a way to grow that younger generation of tech companies,” Cummiskey said.
While Georgia Tech grads are generally pulled away for the most lucrative opportunities, Georgia Southern University is being positioned as another prestigious engineering school. “That’s where our capacity is in our opinion.”
Georgia Film Industry
Chris Cummiskey said the economic impact of the film industry has increased from $248 million to $3.1 billion in six years. “Coma,” “Unnecessary Roughness,” and “Vampire Diaries,” are filmed in Sandy Springs. Last year, parts of the “The Three Stooges” was also filmed in Sandy Springs.