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Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce to showcase community as part of annual International VIP Tour

COVINGTON — As one of the 10 host counties for the annual International VIP Tour, Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce will showcase the community to the Atlanta Consular Corps dignitaries, representing 26 countries, next week.

The International VIP Tour has been organized by the Georgia Department of Economic Development since 1985. The three-day event will start Wednesday, March 19 in Newton County with a focus on traditional tourism and economic development in northeast Georgia.

“This event is a fantastic way to show the international community how our business climate is booming and Georgia’s quality of life is drawing in visitors and investment from across the globe,” said Chris Carr, Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) commissioner. “Not only does this event provide the perfect opportunity for the local community to network with influential leaders from 26 countries, but it also provides guests with a unique perspective of the culture, economy and overall character of Georgia.”

The Covington tour will include breakfast at the Mystic Grill, a restaurant venture owned by Mayor Ronnie Johnston, where guests will receive insight into the film and TV production’s impact on the community.

“We are once again excited and honored to put Newton County on display for the world to see,” Chamber President Hunter Hall said. “Last year we had visitors sign our guest book in the Visitors Center from 33 different counties and 44 different states. We know it is a significant economic driver for us that allows us to keep a diversified economic base for the residents of Newton.”

The delegation will also visit SKC Inc., which employees 320 staff and produces specialty polyester film products, chemicals for foam insulation and EVA film used in solar panels.

“Every year the International VIP Tour shows off a ‘slice’ of Georgia to our Consular Corps,” said Abby Turano, chief of protocol, state Economic Development Department. “The tour is an opportunity to familiarize our VIP Tour guests with destinations they might not have otherwise seen. The mutual benefit is tremendous, as the tour forges long-lasting friendships and business connections.”