Chamber President David Connell told the Marietta Business Association on Thursday that the chamber added 600 new members in 2012 and continues to grow this year.
He attributes the growth of the organization to the positive assets of the area, such as Cobb’s claim to the lowest crime rate and lowest property tax rate in metro Atlanta. The chamber caters to small business, he said, but major corporate headquarters such as The Home Depot and The Weather Channel make the county attractive to businesspeople.
“But it’s the education system and level of education in the area that make us successful,” Connell said, adding that Kennesaw State University has become the third-largest university in the state, and the county is home to Chattahoochee Technical College, Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia Highlands College, Life University and some of the highest performing high schools in the nation.
“Chattahoochee Tech is the sixth-largest in the state, and Southern Polytechnic is one of the best technical engineering schools,” he said. “Life University draws chiropractors from all over the nation.” Nearly 50 percent of all adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, which Connell says is a reflection on the schools.
Another draw to the area, he said, is nearly $2.2 billion in tourism each year with Six Flags, White Water, national parks, the arts and shows.