Home to 18 Fortune 500 companies such as Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot and The Coca-Cola Company, in addition to the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, metro Atlanta is thriving and there are many advantages to living, working and playing here.

In order to find out exactly what some of the area’s top company executives, chamber of commerce chiefs and city officials believe makes this area “the place” to live, we at KNOWAtlanta asked them three questions:
-What are three reasons why people/companies relocate to metro Atlanta?
-How would you sell metro Atlanta to someone/a company looking to relocate or start a company here?
-How might you describe the “Atlanta advantage” to relocators or anyone unfamiliar with the metro area?

What are three reasons why people/companies relocate to metro Atlanta?

Metro Atlanta, in particular Midtown where athenahealth is located, is undergoing an impressive revitalization. There is an amazing energy that exists here and it is growing by leaps and bounds. The area is flush with entrepreneurial attitudes, cultures and ideas. This, in turn, is attracting more and more professionals to work, live and play here. Add a well-educated, energetic and immensely talented population of young professionals to this environment and you have the right mix for explosive growth and innovation.
– David Harvey, Vice President of Product Strategy, athenahealth

-Great weather
-Reasonable cost of living
-Plentiful recreation, culture and special events.
–Peggy Merriss, Decatur City Manager

-World-class educational institutions
-Quality of life assets: climate, cost of living, art/culture/entertainment/sports, international city
-Truly diverse, multicultural region
– Daniel Kaufman, President/CEO, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

It’s a place where you can grow in place. Atlanta has a lot to offer for all stages of life. There are lots of great schools in town and in many of the suburbs. There are a growing number of active living options for empty-nesters and older adults.
– Denise Brinson, Suwanee Assistant City Manager

-Workforce: We have a diverse, young and educated workforce. Companies know they can come here and find the employees they need.
-Infrastructure: Atlanta boasts an incredible airport and port with easy access to every corner of the globe.
-Pro-business climate: Georgia is consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business. We have incredible support for business at all levels of government and among top leadership in the state.
– Emily Poole, Manager, Business Retention and Expansion, Fayette County Development Authority

-Atlanta is home to one of the most powerful transportation hubs — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (the busiest in the country). Access to one of the country’s major international airports makes Atlanta the hub for the Southeast. It is important for major companies such as The Home Depot to be close to an international airport with non-stop access to major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Also, with close proximity to all the major highways, we are able to move products from our distribution center throughout the Southeast. And the deep water seaports in Savannah make for great shipping access.
-Atlanta is home to distinguished universities like Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, Emory University and Kennesaw State University, which make the city a hotspot for young, educated professionals. Learning establishments such as these produce top-quality employees and a highly educated labor force. We source from a diverse pool of college graduates and MBAs who specialize in a range of fields from IT to logistics and finance.
-Atlanta is also the mecca for many healthy Fortune 500 companies such as The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS, which gives it a highly skilled and abundant workforce.
– Mike Laferle, Vice President of Real Estate, The Home Depot

-The concentration and diversity of Fortune 500 companies in Atlanta make this one of the most interesting cities in the South
-Atlanta has big city events, football, baseball, basketball and, coming soon, soccer, all with a small-town charm
-Hartsfield-Jackson allows you to get to any destination in a few hours
– Patti Carroll, Norfolk Southern AVP Real Estate, Board Member, Metro Atlanta Chamber

How would you sell metro Atlanta to someone/a company looking to relocate or start a company here?

Atlanta has great entrepreneurial opportunities and career options and access to excellent education. Also, affordable home prices and a great diversity of housing are a strong draw for families. In addition, a growing automotive industry — Mercedes-Benz and Porsche U.S. will be headquartered here in the near future. Atlanta has great climate, scenic (lots of trees), rolling hills, rivers, etc. And its reasonably close to the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and mountains for family getaways.
– Mike Laferle

Employees are a company’s number one asset and metro Atlanta is rich with a talented, innovative and energetic workforce. Our local institutes, universities and colleges continue to produce a well-prepared population of young professionals to feed Atlanta’s needs. In addition to this local talent, Atlanta is the primary regional draw in the Southeast for young professionals, pulling highly motivated and talented individuals from the region and the rest of the country to our fabulous culture and climate.
– David Harvey,

Metro Atlanta is booming in investment and business growth because of an incredible climate for business. We have a great workforce for all types of industry, and economic development support to ensure business investments are fully supported.
– Emily Poole

-You have access to just about anywhere in the U.S. and a lot of international locations on direct flights from Hartsfield-Jackson
-We have an excellent network of colleges and universities
-There is a reasonable cost of living
– Peggy Merriss

The beautiful thing about living in one of Atlanta’s many suburbs is that there are great metro amenities just 30 minutes away. At the same time, the suburbs are developing their own fantastic, interesting and distinctive downtowns. Suburban communities are creating their own identities. No matter where you live in the metro area, there are great places that have unique personalities and wonderful amenities, places that offer a host of great reasons to live there. Metro Atlanta is very affordable compared to other metro areas around the country. This affordability provides for a great lifestyle. Your employees will love living here.
– Denise Brinson

Simply, Atlanta has it all. A relocating company would join the ranks of The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company, UPS and Delta Air Lines. We have higher education institutions like Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, both conveniently located in Midtown. You can travel to one of the best airports in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson, via MARTA. We have great shopping, restaurants and hotels. And then, there is the weather. It’s the perfect combination of all things good and that makes for happy employees.
– Patti Carroll

-Robust entrepreneurial ecosystem
-Educated workforce that can be tailored to a firm’s specific needs via the Quick Start program
-Favorable cost of doing business: labor, facilities, operations, transportation and tax credits for new job creation
-Highly developed transportation systems
-Strong collaboration between government and business
– Daniel Kaufman

How might you describe the “Atlanta advantage” to relocators or anyone unfamiliar with the metro area?

Atlanta is really hot right now! We’re seeing tremendous growth and an increase in investments all across the board.
– Emily Poole

Atlanta’s support system for both start-up and established companies that have relocated here is a true advantage. For start-ups, we have a flourishing community of like-minded entrepreneurs making their mark in a number of industries. We have accelerators, incubators, mentoring and networking support for young companies along with the funding sources that are needed to fuel these endeavors. Atlanta’s entrepreneurial culture has exploded over the last decade. For established companies relocating to Atlanta, the coordination between the Georgia Economic Development team, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Governor’s Office, Atlanta mayor’s office and other state and local support groups is truly a gift to our community. They do a phenomenal job recruiting and supporting companies that choose to put down roots here in Atlanta and the state.
– David Harvey

Atlanta’s advantage is its location in a good temperate climate with relatively bearable winter and summer weather. In addition, having access to the U.S. and the world via the airport through mainly direct flights make business and personal travel significantly easier.
– Peggy Merriss

Atlanta is attractive because it has a solid education system, which is a strong draw for employees and families. A well-educated talent pool, combined with a low cost of living and superior quality of life, make Atlanta a great place to call home. The city is also an attractive place for sports fan with SEC championship games here, as well as NCAA playoffs.
– Mike Laferle

Atlanta has everything a business or a person could want, all in one place:
-Great climate
-Very reasonable cost of living
-Highly developed infrastructure
-Quality of life assets
-Access to the region, nation and world via planes, trains and automobiles
-Leading education center; unlimited educational opportunities
-Center for technological innovation
-Business-friendly environment
-M‚aterial and financial support for entrepreneurs
– Daniel Kaufman