Chris Carr, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, made the remarks during a joint Dunwoody and Sandy Springs/Perimeter chambers of commerce luncheon at the Retreat at the Summit in Brookhaven Tuesday.
“We have a vibrant economy right here. … We’ve got great assets in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs,” said Carr. “There are some great things going on.”
The Marist alum leads the state agency responsible for creating jobs and investment through business recruitment and expansion, international trade and tourism as well as the arts, film and music industries.
“He is the chief economic cheerleader for the state of Georgia,” said Deron Dowhower, director of Jabian Consulting.
Dowhower, a former Marist classmate, even shared a story from their high school days with the crowd on hand, illustrating Carr’s “willingness to go through pain for the greater good.”
During the latter’s time at the podium, he assessed the elements of the state’s newfangled integrated approach to realizing its economic aspirations — from leveraging of resources like its university system to calculated efforts to establish international trade pipelines.
Carr also managed to double back several times to the local angle, particularly his host jurisdictions’ economic stability.
“This is home to me,” he said. “We have a lot going on and the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber is right in the middle of it.
“Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are great examples of communities that get along and do things the right way.”
Carr mentioned Georgia’s recently publicized designation as a highly sought-after destination for out-of-state business interests — a recent CNBC report named it the No. 1 state in that category.
“Georgia’s tax structure is a benefit … particularly for corporate income tax,” he said. “Ultimately, when you look at Georgia as a logistics network, it’s positive …but we — us and GDOT— are tackling the issue [of traffic congestion] together.”
Quality of life is also the state’s calling card, the economic development chief said.
“Not only is Georgia a great place to do business, but it’s also a great place to live,” Carr said. “Everybody in this room is an ambassador for our state.”