The Sandy Springs Business Association announced Dec. 12 that it will be operating under the name Sandy Springs / Perimeter Chamber of Commerce starting January 1.

“We are very excited about forming the new chamber,” says Wanda Buckley, who will serve as chairperson for the new organization.

“The Sandy Springs Business Association was founded over nine years ago and has grown to serve more than 400 members,” Buckley explained. “The new Chamber of Commerce will allow us to continue this growth and provide even more support for our membership in the Sandy Springs and Perimeter area. We look forward to working with the other chambers in metro Atlanta. ”

“Congratulations to all those who have worked to form the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos. “The business community deserves strong representation and leadership.”

This is not the first time Sandy Springs has had a chamber of commerce. Many of the old time business and political leaders who were active in the then unincorporated area during the 1980s and early 1990s will recall an earlier Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce, which merged in the 1990s with the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce to become the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

At the time the boards of both chambers endorsed the merger, believing that the combined efforts of the two organizations would provide a stronger voice in dealing with government agencies and other chamber groups regarding specific areas of interest to businesses and residents of Sandy Springs, Roswell and Alpharetta in North Fulton County.

Many business owners in the Sandy Springs area felt the merger left them without a voice and marketing vehicle and some gravitated to support of Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc. (SSRI), which has been primarily focused on the upgrading of the Roswell Road streetscape. Much of the upgraded street lighting and sidewalks along Roswell Road north of Hammond Drive is a result of those early SSRI efforts.

The Sandy Springs Business Association was created in 1999 by Sandy Springs Revitalization Inc. in response to continued concerns voiced by the business community regarding the lack of identity and cohesive communication focus in Sandy Springs. SSBA served critical functions to the business district in unincorporated Fulton County prior to the formation of the city of Sandy Springs.

SSBA has worked to make Sandy Springs a premier destination for businesses and shoppers. The non-profit organization has addressed issues that are vital to both individual businesses and the quality of life in Sandy Springs by supporting initiatives to improve the appearance, function and over all economic health of the Roswell Road business district.

Promotional and outreach efforts have included marketing programs and events to foster communication amongst the business community such as forums to learn about issues affecting them, to meet with elected officials and to network.