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Chamber director thrilled with state economic health

Georgia's economy is steaming along, and Carolyn Gilbert couldn't be happier.

"You can't beat Georgia," said Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce's Executive Director. "It's a great state."

Mrs. Gilbert's Monday comments came on the heels of learning that the Peach State has been ranked among the best in the United States when it comes to doing business.

In the overall business category which was conducted by CNBC earlier this month, Georgia is ranked fourth among the 50 states, according to a press release from Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The state also received a top five finish for entrepreneurship and non-employer business growth.

"Every chamber of commerce official and members across the state should be proud of this recognition," Mrs. Gilbert said. "It goes to prove what many of us in chamber offices across the state have known for years - that Georgia is a great state and a great state in which to do business. I'm very proud of this distinction for our state. It really means a lot to me, personally, because we are trying to do our part here in Thomson and McDuffie County to make this part of Georgia as business-friendly as we can."

She is not alone in being proud of the distinction.

So is Gov. Perdue.

"By maintaining a pro-growth business climate in the state, we encourage businesses of all sizes to invest and create jobs in Georgia," Gov. Perdue said in a press release. "These rankings tell us we are doing the right things to promote growth and encourage us to continue to look for ways to make Georgia even more attractive for businesses."

The cable news rankings by CNBC were compiled within 10 different categories. Some of those categories included workforce, transportation and cost of doing business. Once the combined scores from each category was scored, an overall ranking was established.

When it came down to doing business on an overall basis, Georgia was ranked fourth among the 50 states in the nation.

"That's really saying a lot about our state in a great way," Mrs. Gilbert said. "I look at it as great news - the kind you want to hear about and share."

The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce "is all about small business and the promoting of entrepreneurships," Mrs. Gilbert added.

Two of the main reasons for Georgia's overall rankings had to do with workforce and transportation, according to a spokesman with CNBC. In the area of workforce, Georgia ranked second in the nation and in transportation, third in national rankings.

Ken Stewart, who serves as state economic development commissioner, is most pleased with the results, too.

"Georgia has long encouraged entrepreneurial spirit and I am pleased that the statistics bear that out," Mr. Stewart said in a press release. "With a state as business-friendly as Georgia, it is clear that whether you're a large multi-national corporation or a one-person shop, we are your gateway to growth."

Mrs. Gilbert encourages those wishing to start a new business in Thomson or McDuffie County to drop by her office Monday through Friday in the Thomson Depot.

"I'll be glad to discuss any sort of business ideas with anybody or point them to someone who can help them," Mrs. Gilbert said. Persons may also telephone the local chamber office at (706)-597-1000 for information.

Web posted on Thursday, July 26, 2007

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