I’m a landscape designer, so as we enter the summer, I can’t help but think about this being the time where my clients see a burst of growth in all the landscape projects we’ve installed over the past 10 years. As I drive around Atlanta I can see how the designs we’ve installed have matured and created the beautiful framework we envisioned for their homes. It’s personally rewarding to me to see this picture unfold and see smiles on their faces as they reflect on how, together, we were able to change their tired old landscapes into a colorful picture they’re proud to be a part of.
The same can be said for the city we live in. When I first visited the old Atlanta Falcons Training Camp in Suwanee in the ’80s, there was the football camp, Main Street in Old Town Suwanee, a gas station, and that was about all there was to this sleepy little town. Fortunately for all of us who now live here, the city leaders, planners, and residents designed the beautiful vision we all enjoy today. And what a great place to live!
And Suwanee continues to grow and look even better every day. Businesses along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road are growing and making visual improvements to their facades; Peachtree Industrial Blvd. is getting a median facelift as the western entryway to our city; parks continue to spring up all around town; Historic Old Town is getting another boost with the planned restoration of Pierces Corner; and Buford Highway is soon to have a new look and feel for both cars and pedestrian traffic, keeping the charm of the old and beautifying and improving it with some new and creative thinking!
The business environment in Suwanee has also grown and continues to evolve. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality of the businesses that want to be part of this evolution. Businesses big and small, retail and services-based companies are moving here or being given birth in Suwanee. In 2000 there were only 635 businesses licensed here, today there are more than 1,800 and growing.
Back in 1999 a small handful of business folks formed the SBA to help promote economic growth for the businesses located within the city. One thing that has helped immensely is the tie the SBA has with the city leadership. Every Suwanee mayor, most city council members, and a significant portion of the city staff are active members of the SBA. This helps us keep abreast of what’s going on in the city, and it also helps city leaders understand what is important to the business leaders in the community, and together we can better shape the future for all of us. The 240+ businesses that now form the SBA’s core membership have found that doing business with each other, having common goals, and a place to develop not just business but personal friendships just follows the path that has helped Suwanee become the envy of the south as a place to “Live, Work, and Play.” Heck – we even have our own magazine now! Although there may be limitations on the physical growth of the city, there are virtually no limitations to how we can grow the success of our businesses, the quality of life here for our families, and the beauty of our surroundings.
Come join the SBA and help us all grow and smile on what we can accomplish for the future!
BY: Ed Szczesniak
President, Suwanee Business Alliance
Owner/Designer – Georgian Landscape Design