Entrepreneur-Friendly Best Practices

Georgia’s communities want to better equip themselves to support their small businesses and build a business-enabling environment.  Whether as a result of the “Entrepreneur Friendly” initiative or forward-thinking leadership, they are doing things better.   Some of these best practices reach far beyond ‘chamber 101’ – they are non-traditional, entrepreneurial and creative.

A base requirement of the Entrepreneur-Friendly (EF) program was that each community had to create a business resource directory so that not only was leadership aware of resources but that these resources were accessible at any time to everyone.

  • City of Norcross – “City First” – changing the way businesses think about purchasing; local B2B purchasing helps every business.
  • Berrien County – unique, county-wide buy local program
  • Camden County – resource center, business educational programs
  • Carroll County – business incubator, resource center, technology & youth academy
  • Carroll/Haralson/Heard – West GA Youth Academy-youth submit business ideas, receive mentoring and licensed business by the end of the 14-week program
  • City of Snellville – online Tool Box, Entrepreneur Youth Academy, small business kiosk, mentoring, peer advisory board
  • Cobb County – one-stop-shop accelerator, business association liaison, B2B and B2C Roundtables
  • Coffee County – greater public resource awareness, educational programs, dedicated staff; easy handout resource guide to promote throughout county (government offices, office retailers, professionals)
  • College Hill Alliance / Eight County, Middle Georgia Effort – “Maker Movement” – a growing national network of artisans, craftsmen, business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators building new, locally-driven economies.
  • College Park – Entrepreneur center, incubator, educational programs, networking
  • Elbert County – broadband upgrades & integration; ten free 30-second radio spots on 3 local stations
  • Fannin County – Youth entrepreneur challenge
  • Floyd County – technology/creative class focus, network
  • Glynn County – Technology Academy
  • Gwinnett County – Amazing E; entrepreneurship council encompassing all municipalities; a component of their county-wide strategic plan; (national award winner)
  • Haralson County – waived business license fees for one year: gained 61 new businesses and 105 jobs; Honda Lock funded robotics teacher and equipment for high school
  • Irwin County – county-wide merchant support, unique buy local push
  • Lowndes County – 5-county MSA regional resource website, SEEDS Center, Economic Gardening, mentoring/coaching, business plan competition
  • Milledgeville – BOOST:  $100-$1000 grant to downtown shop owners; Boosters give $200/year and vote for award winners
  • Oglethorpe County – early youth academy worm farm
  • Putnam County – $30,000 grant pool provided by the development authority; requiring SBDC assistance
  • Sandy Springs – 50% discount on permitting fees for one year
  • Thomasville-Thomas County – Small business “all call” – afterhours open forum to learn of business needs and what businesses need from local leadership

Gathering Places for Entrepreneurs – co-location, hot spots, incubators and the like are popping up in the Metro Atlanta area and throughout the state creating that critical eco-system entrepreneurs need, learning from each other.

Contact GDEcD

For help with small business resources, contact Mary Ellen McClanahan, Director, Entrepreneur & Small Business Development at 404-962-4820, or email [email protected].

More About Georgia Benefits

Georgia’s industry-specific Project Analysts are available to help you with a wide range of business needs:

  • Site and building services
  • Location data
  • Community contacts and facilitation
  • Cost environment analysis
  • Coordination with state agencies
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