Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership Named Top 20 Economic Development Group

By Amanda Ellis

Amidst news of big changes for businesses – from layoffs to increased remote work, you might think economic development work has slowed. But companies still look to the future of where they want to be located – and many industries are still thriving. 

In fact, the Chattanooga Chamber’s Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP) initiative has worked on nine new projects since March 1.

Last week, economic developers around the world observed Economic Development Week as they continue working to build a sustainable economy and prepare for what comes next after this global crisis. Their efforts will be crucial to local economic recovery. 

Their work encompasses much more than you might think – talent attraction, industrial and business park development, existing business support, developing a skilled workforce, inspiring travel, elevating the arts – and much more. So next time you admire a downtown public art project, support an entrepreneur or recommend an apprenticeship program, thank an economic developer.

With our community’s support, encouragement and partnership, we marked Economic Development Week with our Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership’s recognition last week as a 2020 Mac Conway Award Winner.

This Site Selection magazine award highlights the top 20 economic development groups in the nation based on the data the publication collects as part of delivering expansion planning information to 48,000 executives of fast-growing firms. 

An index of corporate job creation and facility-related capital investment data determines award honorees, which include only the top local and regional U.S. economic development groups.

"We're honored to have a place on the Mac Conway award winners list alongside excellent economic development agencies from across the U.S.," says Paul Leath, Regional Director of Operations, Chattanooga Gas, and Economic Development Chair for the Chattanooga Chamber. "The Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership provides jobs and opportunity in our region through successful projects like Nippon Paint, Nokian Tyres - the largest ever investment in Rhea County - and others." 

Locations throughout the U.S. and the world compete for direct investment, and this award highlights our community’s ability to land economic development projects, including expansions and locations.

“This is a big deal that puts Chattanooga on the same stage as groups like the Phoenix Economic Council, One Columbus and the Research Triangle Partnership,” says Charles Wood, Chamber VP of Economic Development. “I appreciate the hard work of the economic development team, our regional partners, investors and everyone at the Chamber that helps support us – this is definitely a team effort.”

With national unemployment at almost 15%, the economic development efforts of the Chamber and GCEP will be more important than ever in supporting new job creation and investment in the Chattanooga region.


The Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP) is a public-private, regional economic development partnership representing a 16-county region in Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. GCEP focuses on building awareness of our region for business expansion and relocation. The Chattanooga Chamber Foundation manages GCEP in partnership with local economic development organizations throughout the region, providing site selection, workforce and incentive support.