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There is a flurry of activity under the gold dome at the start of each year at Georgia’s State Capitol – the place where legislators file bills, debate ideas, and set budgets during the state’s legislative session. For the businesses who call Cobb County home, having the Cobb Chamber as their full-time advocate to speak on behalf of their interests during this time of year is vital. However, it’s also important to our businesses that we pay attention to business issues at all levels of government throughout the entire year.

Advocacy is one of the most important benefits the Cobb Chamber provides to its members. With a dedicated advocacy team, the Cobb Chamber serves as the voice of our business community on a multitude of legislative matters. Over the past several years, we have led the effort on several legislative wins and continue to champion pro-business policies for businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietors to our largest global companies. We support economic growth for all of Cobb County.

Along with the efforts of many local community leaders, the Cobb Chamber is a vital supporter of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and Education SPLOST (Ed-SPLOST), both of which continue to have a tremendous positive impact on our county’s two public education systems. For example, in the Cobb County School District, the Ed-SPLOST made possible its first career academy, the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA). CITA currently offers 15 different career paths, allowing high school students to earn certificates and credits towards their future career – many being able to begin their journey upon high school graduation. The demand for skilled trades is vast, and CITA provides an extremely valuable investment in Cobb’s future. Now, Ed-SPLOST VI is paving the way for Cobb to build a second career academy to give even more opportunities for high school students to help fill this critical workforce need.

The Cobb Chamber and SelectCobb are partnering with the Council for Quality Growth to work with Cobb County as they create a new Unified Development Code (UDC). The UDC will replace the county’s current Zoning Code and Development Standards and provide an opportunity to offer a streamlined resource for designers, County staff reviewers, and the public at-large to navigate rezoning and development projects. Our role will be to serve as the voice of the business community and ensure that the UDC provides the tools to keep Cobb as the best and most efficient place to do business in Georgia.

At the state level, our Chamber remains diligent on issues that have a broader impact on economic development and business growth. Senate Bill 6, which was signed into law at Cobb Chamber’s headquarters in 2021, provides a pro-business environment for high impact aerospace defense projects that will bring many well-paying jobs to the state. The law allows existing defense industries in our state to be more competitive in securing upcoming Department of Defense contracts.

To read the rest of this article, view it on the Cobb Business Journal‘s website here.