Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership?
A: GCEP is an outcome of the Thrive Regional Partnership planning effort and is the new regional economic development marketing brand led by the Chattanooga Area Chamber Foundation in partnership with economic development organizations throughout the Chattanooga region.
Q: What is GCEP’s purpose?
A: GCEP’s goals include:
• Increase awareness of the 16-county Chattanooga region as a business location
• Accelerate job creation
• Generate capital investment
• Strengthen and diversify the 16-county region’s economic base
Q: What area does GCEP market?
A: GCEP will market the 16 counties that were part of Thrive Regional Partnership’s regional planning. They are:
• Dekalb and Jackson counties in Alabama
• Catoosa, Dade, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties in Georgia
• Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee
Q: Why would multiple economic development organizations partner on GCEP?
A: GCEP regional marketing allows the Chattanooga region to better compete with other regional economic development groups, such as:
• The 10-county Nashville region marketed by Nashville Chamber’s Partnership 2020 initiative
• The 16-county region marketed by the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which includes communities in North and South Carolina
• The Upstate Alliance that markets the 10-county region around Greenville, SC
"A regional approach to economic development has proven to be a tremendous asset to progressive communities around the county," says Dennis Donovan, a partner in site selection consulting firm Wadley Donovan Gutshaw. "Chattanooga is smart to embrace this strategy and it says a lot about the spirit of partnership in the region when you can work across state lines."
Q: Who funds GCEP?
A: Dozens of private sector companies, such as TVA, and local economic development organizations in the region support GCEP, including the Dalton and Cleveland chambers, NWGA Joint Economic Development Authority and the Southeast Industrial Development Authority.
“Helping to foster economic development with our partners is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service,” says TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “TVA has been a long standing supporter of regional economic development and we believe the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership effort will improve the region’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.”
For more about investing, contact Sandra Brewer, Vice President of Member-Investor Services, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.
Q: Does this effort change the Chattanooga Chamber’s role in working with the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County on job creation and economic development?
A: No, GCEP is a natural progression of the Chamber’s economic development role. It will not substitute ongoing efforts of supporting Hamilton County and Chattanooga that the Chattanooga Chamber has been engaged with for more than a decade. These include business expansion, recruitment and entrepreneurship support, as well as workforce development and community marketing.
Q: Will GCEP mitigate competition for jobs in the region?
A: No. GCEP’s goal is to increase the number of companies considering our region for a new business location. Because of this, we expect an increase in the number of projects that we compete for; but if they land in the region, we all win.