Business Boom

Angela Brooks

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 Business Outreach Coordinator, Angela Brooks.

The city’s first ever expo for Tucker small business owners and hopefuls was held on April 20 at City Hall. Hosted by our economic development team, the gathering welcomed over 150 attendees.

In my role as Business Outreach Coordinator, I've heard firsthand the challenges that small businesses face to keep their doors open and perhaps grow or get to that next level. The traumatic impact of COVID-19 stretched many businesses to their limits, and others just didn't make it through. All of this led to our design and execution of this expo.

We can't always offer monetary assistance to our small businesses, and that's not always their most profound need. This event was another way to offer support. The free event was designed to provide those owners with exposure and access to resources on a variety of topics such as banking, finance, workshops, and workforce talent to help them confidently run their businesses.

Having all this information and all these experts in one place was, by design, a timesaver for entrepreneurs who typically have to do yeoman’s work to keep business moving in the right direction.

Tucker’s Mayor Frank Auman, also a small business owner, can attest to this.

“The business owner has the responsibility to plan the strategies that will keep their company in the green, growing, and ahead of market trends and economic fluctuations. This probably means that he or she must make the time to seek out resources to help them do this, whether it’s skills training, access to capital or a talent pipeline,“ he said.

Small-Business-ExpoThe four-hour event was an open forum where attendees could arrive at any time and be able to pick up literature and speak directly with the representatives onsite.

“I actually enjoyed that it was more of a free-flowing, networking style event because that's just what I personally found valuable,” said attendee Stephen Upchurch of the family-owned KAS Enterprises here in Tucker. “The University of Georgia had their small business development booth out there, and I happen to be an alumnus, so we were able to connect and that was really nice.”

Held in the City Hall courtroom, “We purposefully wanted to send the signal that City Hall is not just a place to make payments or attend court. We want people to feel that it’s a welcoming environment for them to do business, get their questions answered, get the type of assistance that they need and keep their business stable,” said Economic Development Manager Jackie Moffo.

The room was chock-full of local subject matter experts from a wide range of agencies such as the Small Business Administration, minority Chambers of Commerce, banks, institutes of higher learning, and business associations. They engaged directly with attendees to address their questions and issues.

“The inaugural Small Business Resources Expo was a great event, and we look forward to working with the small businesses in Tucker,” commented Operations Manager Liz Rodriguez of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, one of the participating organizations.

So, what’s next?

You can expect more small business support like this, and now that the City Council has adopted our Economic Development Strategic Plan, we have a definitive roadmap to guide us for the next five years.

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