Introducing … the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership

By Amanda Ellis, Marketing Coordinator, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce

When businesses move here and grow here, we all win. And that’s what’s behind the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP), the new regional economic development marketing brand led by the Chattanooga Area Chamber.

GCEP is an outgrowth of the Thrive 2055 regional planning effort, managed by the Chattanooga Chamber Foundation and local economic development organizations throughout Thrive's 16-county region in Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee.

The GCEP regional marketing effort helps our region better compete with other regional economic development groups like the 10-county Nashville region, marketed by the Nashville Chamber’s Partnership 2020 initiative, and the 16-county region marketed by the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which includes communities in both North and South Carolina.

When companies look for new locations, they don’t focus on political boundaries, but assets like labor draw and available workforce, transportation corridors, regional education institutions and proximity to customers. GCEP focuses on broader recognition of these resources.

Brands you know and love have already chosen the Greater Chattanooga Region for more than a century, with increasing momentum. We cover the sensory spectrum, from taste to sight to speed.

Refreshing and delicious? We bottled Coke first and made history.

Ever find just what you needed on Amazon? Our region helped them build two new distribution centers.

Google wants their $600 million data center right here, and we also maintain a strong base of homegrown companies from McKee Foods, the makers of Little Debbie snack cakes, to floor covering giant Shaw Industries.

With funding support from local economic development organizations in the region (including the Dalton and Cleveland Chambers, NWGA Joint Economic Development Authority and SEIDA) as well as the Chamber’s private sector investors, GCEP increases awareness of the Chattanooga region as a great business location, accelerates job creation, generates capital investment and strengthens the economic base of our 16-county region.

“GCEP’s collective marketing of our region makes sense for the rural communities in our region with smaller marketing budgets,” says Kathy Price, Executive Director of the McMinn County Economic Development Authority. “Our region shares transportation networks and workforce, so it makes sense for us to work together in economic development and market ourselves as a region. Companies don’t see county lines — they just want to find that sweet spot location where they can be profitable.”

GCEP is a one-stop point of contact for helping businesses with:

Site selection 
Workforce support 
Incentive support
Community visits 

GCEP is a natural progression of the Chattanooga Chamber’s economic development role but won’t substitute our ongoing efforts supporting both Hamilton County and the city of Chattanooga.

Learn more about GCEP, and why our region is the best place for business, at greaterchatt.com.