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Pat Wilson

ATLANTA — As part of the State of Georgia’s recognition of National Small Business Week 2021, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday a new position in state government to support and empower Georgia’s small business community.

According to Georgia Department of Labor data, businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.8% of businesses in Georgia, and through a recommendation of Kemp’s Georgians First Commission, the Georgia Department of Economic Development has established a director of Small Business Outreach to build on the Department’s current portfolio of services and provide greater direct engagement with this community. GDEcD’s former director of Creative Industry Partnerships, Allen Fox, will serve in this role.

“Georgia’s diverse range of small businesses is the backbone of our state’s economy and the driving force behind Georgia’s record-breaking economic momentum,” Kemp said in a news release. “As we stay focused on protecting lives and livelihoods, it’s critical that small businesses are aware of the state resources available to help them start up, expand operations, and create good-paying jobs for hard-working Georgians. As governor and a small business owner for over 35 years, I look forward to what this new position within the Department of Economic Development can do to strengthen Georgia’s reputation as the top state for business and the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Fox will conduct meetings and events in the state, including coordinating regional roundtables and meetings with small business-related advocacy groups and other relevant stakeholders. This will help Georgia continue to create a positive vision and cultivate support for entrepreneurs.

Eighty percent of GDEcD’s work is with small businesses. Together, 1.6 million Georgians are employed by these businesses in sectors including manufacturing, retail, arts, hospitality, film production and more.

“Every division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development touches small businesses across the state, offering resources, guidance, and assistance to help them succeed and grow,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said. “We appreciate the support from Gov. Kemp that will allow us to make sure every Georgia small business knows about the opportunities and resources we have available to them.”

For more information, visit GDEcD’s website, which includes information for small businesses across industries and divisions, at www.georgia.org.

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