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  • Position Statement: The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce is made up of business owners, managers and employees, community leaders, and residents. We cherish, enjoy, and want to protect our county’s natural resources and its friendly, small-town quality as much as anyone. We support and work to protect the quality of our outstanding school and health systems. That's why we encourage Effingham County residents and community leaders to take a balanced, thoughtful approach to the county's growth, and reject knee-jerk attacks on proposed developments, 

    Our county thrives, and our taxes are lowest, when we have a balance of commercial and residential development. This balance requires thoughtful planning and foresight to ensure that growth reflects the needs of all residents; needs that include good-paying jobs close to home, as well as safe and convenient roads.

    Harshly restricting commercial development will limit access to jobs and force more Effingham residents to commute out of the county on already congested roads. Blocking affordable residential development will starve local businesses of the qualified resident workforce they need by making housing unattainable.

    More jobs within Effingham can mean less commuter traffic leaving the county every morning. The county needs more housing of various types (single-family, multi-family, mixed uses) to accommodate the workforce required to fill local jobs. Residential growth can also bring with it amenities that residents want, such as new restaurants, retail, entertainment and services.

    The Chamber of Commerce developed its Smart Growth definition in 2022 in the hope of advancing a balanced and strategic approach to the county’s future direction. We stand by the definition and encourage county leaders and residents to work toward a balanced and responsible vision for our future.

    Chamber’s Smart Growth Statement (released June 29, 2022): “The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce defines Smart Growth as growth that is strategically planned and designed in a manner that considers land uses, access to and preservation of its natural beauty, its close-knit hometown identity, and transportation/ infrastructure needs. The engagement and collaborative efforts of key stakeholders will result in development that brings value to our region’s economic, social, and environmental future.”

  • Effingham County: Hometown Feel, Big City Opportunity
  • A Balance of Commercial and Residential Land Use Keeps Taxes Low.

    A 2021 study by the Georgia Tech Center for Economic Development Research shows that for every dollar a local government spends to provide services, commercial and industrial properties consume only $0.30 in services, while residential properties receive $1.16 in services. Even excluding the cost of schools, residential properties do not cover the costs of the services the county provides, while commercial properties receive only $0.60 in services...