Chamber Survey Reveals Positive Signs For Local Business Growth

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More than half of companies surveyed by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce last year plan expansions that could create more than 1,200 new jobs and over $130 million in new capital investment, according to the recently-published Chattanooga IQ report for 2012.

Chattanooga IQ offers a snapshot of the status of existing business, as well as the community’s strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of local companies. Conducted by the Chattanooga Chamber’s Business Retention and Expansion Visitation (BREV) team, the report reflects the aggregate responses of 100 area businesses the Chamber and its volunteers surveyed between the months of March and July in 2012 about various local economic indicators.

Results are assessed using the award-winning Synchronist Business Information System and can be viewed in full at

“The 2012 assessment may be very good news indeed, considering actual job creation by existing companies far outpaced the projected level companies reported in the last Chattanooga IQ study,” said Steve Hiatt, director of Existing Business Development for the Chattanooga Chamber. “When we published Chattanooga IQ in 2010, responding companies hoped to create 1,151 new jobs. Since then, the Chamber has assisted existing companies in creating 2,560 new jobs.”

In addition, 86 percent of responding companies in 2012 indicated a favorable growth outlook and 77 percent reported they would be more likely to expand in Chattanooga than elsewhere because they view Chattanooga as a good place to do business for a range of reasons.

The Chattanooga Chamber also asked existing companies that participated in the survey to name their greatest achievement within the last five years. Increases in revenue topped the list with 35 of 100 companies reporting “Business Growth” or “Sale Increase” as their biggest success. Nearly 30 companies reported their greatest achievement was overcoming business challenges.

The majority of respondents considered local workers “above average” in “availability,” “quality” and “stability,” but scored the area workforce highest in “productivity.”

Members of the 2012 BREV team include Julie Alcantara, Sheile Brooks, Kara Van Brunt,Dan Gilmore, Glynn Hodges, Lori Jenkins, Heather Jones, Jon Kinworthy, Celeste Longwith, Blake Poole, Pat Mahery, Calvin Marshall, Pete Metcalfe, Chris Murphy, Anne Najjar, Bonnie Phillips, Leif Ramsey, David Rhea and Mical Traynor.

The Chattanooga Chamber publishes Chattanooga IQ every two years. It serves as a briefing for local business people about the trends and perceptions that are shaping the local business environment. For more information about Chattanooga IQ or the support the Chattanooga Chamber provides to existing companies, please contact Lucky Rouse at

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