Business Boom

Jackie Moffo

Tucker is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising business destinations in the Metro Atlanta area.  Each month, the Business Boom will seek to show different examples of how Tucker’s business scene is flourishing. This month's column is written by our Economic Development Manager, Jackie Moffo.

Business-Boom-shipGeorgia is consistently ranked in the “Top States for Doing Business”, taking the #1 spot eight years in a row from 2013 – 2021 by Area Development Magazine. What is it exactly about Georgia that is so advantageous for businesses, and how can existing Tucker businesses be sure that they are accessing programs they are eligible for?

For mega projects such as the recent landing of Rivian, an electric car manufacturer which announced a $5B manufacturing plant that will cross Morgan and Walton counties and bring 7,500 jobs, the State of Georgia Economic Development Department (GDEcD) acts as the dedicated recruitment arm. Recruitment includes connecting these large employers to incentives such as job tax credits and full training programs such as Georgia Quick Start.

While there are specific GDEcD programs for mega projects that create thousands of new jobs, business incentives and programs benefit businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. Tax credits vary by a tier system that is established by the State annually and determined by need levels. The State’s programs are designed to assist and encourage the growth of targeted industries, including manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, logistics, software development and fintech, telecommunication, research, and development.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs in Georgia, there are dedicated programs that have also been created to provide support, regardless of industry. Through its 18 locations across the state, the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) provides a wide range of educational and training services for small businesses, including confidential no-cost, one-on-one professional consulting. For Tucker residents and businesses, you can take advantage of DeKalb’s Small Business Development Center located just outside of Tucker’s city limits.

The UGA SBDC has a simple mission “to enhance the economic well-being of Georgians by providing a wide range of educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs”, says Candice Mays, SBDC Business Consultant, which makes sense since according to the US Small Business Administration, 99.6% of all Georgia businesses and nearly 43% of all Georgia employees are from small businesses.

Candice describes that the services provided by the UGA SBDC aim to, “offer tools, training, and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. We help for-profit business owners across the five core business areas – strategic planning, marketing, human resources management, financial reporting, and operational excellence.” Businesses often visit the DeKalb UGA SBDC office looking for assistance with how to start their business or are experiencing slowed sales and are hoping to find ways to turn things around. Candice shares that, “every business owner’s situation is different. Helping them start or manage their businesses more effectively could be a matter of reviewing their finances, or conducting a website and social media analysis, or even helping them prepare for loan approval”. Other examples of business support the UGA SBDC provides are strategic planning, market research, assistance in loan applications, and low-cost continuing education courses which are available online.

Candice gains her experience from her private sector background leading brand strategy for a portfolio of animal health products focusing on branding, go-to-market strategy and implementation. UGA SBDC Business Consultants all have master’s degrees and consult on general business areas. Like Candice, each UGA SBDC Business Consultant also has an area of expertise, and if you are looking for something specific, DeKalb’s UGA SBDC office is happy to connect you with any of the SBDC consultants across Georgia and co-consult for no additional costs.

If you are interested in any services of the UGA SBDC please reach out to the DeKalb UGA SBDC office located at 1990 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 250 or call 770-414-3110.

You can learn more about the UGA SBDC and review classes available online by visiting the UGA SBDC website

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