Choose Chattanooga serves as the Chattanooga region's one stop resource for information on living here. We are in direct alignment with Chattanooga's vision of becoming a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Each year, we receive over 4,500 requests from individuals interested in learning more about all of the reasons they should consider moving to the Chattanooga region.
Approximately 25 percent of our inquiries come from retirees, while the other 75 percent come from businesses, young families/singles, and others interested in a lifestyle/location/career change. The fastest growing segment of our work is now coming from the business community, either to support their recruiting efforts or from new hires that are considering taking a job. In almost every case, Chattanooga is in competition with another community for talent.
We have found that attracting talent is very organic. One family member's move is the anchor to attract others from the same family as well as others from their sphere of influence. Choose Chattanooga's first initiative was as one of nine pilot counties in the Retire Tennessee program. When our work began, interest in Tennessee was in the bottom 5 percent. It has now climbed to the top 24 percent.
The economic impact of this one program for one year (2010/2011), which resulted in 74 families relocating, is approximately $1.8 million and 124 jobs. As an organization which was created to support local government and enhance economic development in the Chattanooga area, it is important to us to let the public know that the $16,900 we received from the city last year was well spent filling an unmet need and bringing new business opportunities to every sector of the community.
The staff, board and partners of Choose Chattanooga help to create "I Could Live Here" moments. It is that moment when a guest to the Chattanooga Region turns their hope for living here… into a spark of action to relocate. Each year, thousands of people, from all walks of life, depend on Choose Chattanooga to help them understand all the reasons there are to move to our region. We help to create those moments which bring some of the best and brightest. That's what we do every day.
Linda Bennett, Executive Director