When considering moving to Georgia or facing job relocation, many would-be movers have a strict list of priorities and preferences they must weigh when they are in the process of selecting a new city. Everyone is different, but the fundamental needs for most are often the same: great schools, great business opportunities and a great quality of life.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect school for your children or a good place to start your new business, you may be surprised to find that Atlanta and the surrounding metro areas check all these boxes and more. Below, Atlanta leaders in public and private schools, real estate and business share why they believe that now is a great time to take a bite of the Peach City, and why a move to Atlanta means you’ll find everything and more when it comes to your moving checklist.
Quality Public and Private Education
The Georgia Department of Education is led by School Superintendent Richard Woods. With more than 22 years in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education, Woods was elected to the role in 2014 and leads more than 2,000 elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state.
What should a parent or guardian moving his/her children to metro Atlanta know about the quality of Georgia’s public schools?
From the core content areas to career education, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction and fine arts enrichment, Georgia’s public schools provide great opportunities for students all over the state. Georgia ranks second among Southern states for ACT scores, was the first state in the nation to adopt Career Pathways requirements for all high school students and ranks 13th in the nation for Advanced Placement pass rates.
Our state is home to five National Principals of the Year, eight National Principal of the Year finalists, three National School Counselors of the Year, the 2015 National Blended and Online Learning Teacher of the Year, the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year and 113,000 teachers. These excellent educators are equipping Georgia’s 1.7 million students with the skills they need to live, learn and lead in the future.
Learn more about Georgia's public schools at gadoe.org
Kirk Walker, Ph.D., serves as president of Serving and Accrediting Independent Schools (SAIS), which is a membership organization of independent K-12 schools throughout the Southeast. SAIS serves 365 member schools, represents more than 200,000 students and is headquartered in Atlanta.
What should a parent or guardian know about independent school options in metro Atlanta?
Parents in Atlanta should know that they have access to an impressive range of independent school choices — small schools, large schools, faith-based, special needs and even boarding options nearby. This host of options provides parents with wonderful opportunities for finding the right fit for their child.
How might you describe the quality of independent school options in metro Atlanta?
In some ways, the quality of the schools is even more impressive than the range of options. Independent schools in Atlanta guide and encourage students to achieve their potential, become men and women of integrity and develop skills and attitudes that will serve them well in the future. Atlanta has been and will continue to be the beneficiary of the amazing graduates of these independent schools.
Learn more about Georgia's independent schools at sais.org
Booming Business Climate
Hala Moddelmog, the first female president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, is no stranger to leading great organizations. Having previously served as president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Church’s Chicken within the last 20 years, she’s widely known for her knack to revitalize brands. At the helm of an organization dedicated to bringing more jobs and prosperity to the city, Moddelmog is taking on the task of transformation with the future in mind.
What should anyone moving to Atlanta know about the business climate?
For years, Georgia and metro Atlanta have consistently ranked high in overall business climate. With exemptions and low corporate tax rates, as well as tax credits for creating, upgrading or expanding jobs, it’s no surprise that Atlanta is the No. 1 metro area for lowest relative business costs among the nation’s top 10 largest metro areas. Because of the city’s low cost for doing business, Atlanta ranks as the No. 3 city in the country with the most Fortune 500 headquarters.
Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is also booming. Small business incentives anchor small business tax relief, angel investor tax credits and financing of up to $250,000, making Atlanta a perfect climate for entrepreneurs to start a business and make their mark. In fact, last year Atlanta was named the No. 5 city for economic potential in the entire country and is known for a variety of top-ranked industries, including healthIT, FinTech, cybersecurity, mobility, film/entertainment, music, social impact and more.
What makes metro Atlanta a great place for business?
In addition to Atlanta’s affordable business climate, factors including access to talent, convenient location, sense of inclusion and vibrant quality of life are just a few reasons why the city is an ideal place for business. With the region’s 70 colleges and universities, including Emory University, Georgia Tech, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Spelman University, the University of Georgia and other institutions of higher education, metro Atlanta is bursting with an abundance of new talent.
Further, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, companies are within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the U.S. population and have a gateway to more than 45 countries. Most importantly, Atlanta is a place that businesses can feel included and call home. Atlanta continues to rank high in its number of African-American and women-owned businesses along with its strong Millennial presence. Combined, everyone that makes up the city of Atlanta is contributing to an exceptional quality of life and unlimited opportunity.
What does the Metro Atlanta Chamber do to continue to make Georgia a top state for business?
The Metro Atlanta Chamber has always existed for a clear purpose — to help metro Atlanta thrive. Therefore, Atlanta’s prosperous business environment is always a top priority as we continue our daily work of economic development, tackling public policy, building metro Atlanta’s innovation capacity and more. In return, businesses receive a partner that provides them with a multitude of resources to take their businesses to the next level including connections to executive and academic leadership, potential customers, capital resources, global networks and relocation assistance for companies looking to choose Atlanta as their next home.
Learn more about the Metro Atlanta Chamber at metroatlantachamber.com
Affordable, Quality Housing Options
Atlanta Board of Realtors President Lane McCormack, who also serves as the managing broker with Harry Norman Realtors, leads her 6,000-member organization to help Atlanta newcomers and locals alike find their perfect new home.
What can individuals and families relocating to Atlanta look forward to when considering their housing options?
By comparison, affordable homes are a known reason for relocating to Atlanta versus other major metropolitan areas. Housing in most areas is accessible to some form of transit. Atlanta offers many housing opportunities meeting the diverse needs for dining, cultural events and athletics. Live, work and play communities are the hot item now as many home purchasers are looking more to quality of life. Atlanta offers it all for everyone!
Why is Atlanta a great place to purchase a home?
Atlanta is a healthy community that welcomes new businesses and residents. The city is attracting homebuyers and relocators at a fast pace because of the thriving business environment, diverse culture, quality schools, safety, accessibility to interests and an emerging population.
Learn more about the Atlanta Board of Relators at abr.org