Business View Magazine | November 2019

281 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 T he city of Gainesville, the county seat of Hall County, Georgia, is located approximately 50 miles northeast of Atlanta and 100 miles southwest of Greenville, South Carolina. Situated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is surrounded on three sides by Lake Sidney Lanier, constructed in 1956 by the Army Corps of Engineers by building Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. In the early 1800s, Gainesville was established by European-American settlers as “Mule Camp Springs.” In 1821, it was renamed Gainesville in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812, and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. In 1871 the Airline Railroad, later named the Georgia Southern Railroad, began to stop in Gainesville, increasing its ties to other markets and stimulating business and population; the town grew from 1,000 in 1870, to over 5,000 by 1900. By that time, textile mills had become the primary driver of the economy, with the railroad integral to delivering raw cotton and carrying away the mills’ products. After World War II, a businessman named Jesse Jewell started the poultry industry in north Georgia, and chickens have since become the state’s largest agricultural crop. This $1 billion a year industry has given Gainesville the title “Poultry Capital of the World.” Modern Gainesville is also home to several international firms, including Kubota Manufacturing and ZF Wind Power. “One of the things that’s interesting about Gainesville is that we do have a large international presence,” says Assistant City Manager, Angela Sheppard. “Kubota is based out of Japan and ZF Wind Power is based in Germany. We also have companies from Iceland, Sweden, and Switzerland, and we’re excited to have such a diverse population and employment base, here.” Today, Gainesville has a population of 44,000, GAINESVILLE, G E O R G I A GROWING WISELY