The state is home to 590 entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults, vaulting Georgia from #3 in 2007 to #1 in 2009. Georgia’s Entrepreneur Friendly program helped lay the groundwork for small business growth in the state, Governor Perdue said in a release.
Here are just a few of the companies set to expand in the state, creating hundreds of new jobs for struggling families affected by economic hardship:
· Fortune 500 company NCR will relocate its corporate headquarters to Duluth and locate a new manufacturing facility in Columbus, Governor Perdue announced. NCR will create 2,120 jobs in the two facilities. The company last fall created a global Center of Excellence in Peachtree City and co-located its Worldwide Customer Service operations, creating 916 jobs.
. Women’s fashion retailer Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS) plans to expand its distribution center facilities in Barrow County with an initial investment of $15 million, which is expected to create 189 full-time jobs over the next three years. In order to expand its facilities in Winder, Chico’s purchased the former Hagemeyer Building on Barrow Industrial Parkway. The 300,000-square-foot building, which is close to the current Chico’s distribution center, will house an additional distribution facility. When the expansion is completed by year-end, there will be more than 450 full-time Chico’s employees in Barrow County.
· Governor Perdue recently announced that telecommunications company Cbeyond will expand its headquarters in Cobb County. The company will double its operations in Georgia, creating more than 600 jobs. Cbeyond first came to Georgia in 2000 with only 15 employees and will have more than 1,300 by 2012.
· Chicken of the Sea is returning its canning operations to the U.S. with its new facility in Lyons, Governor Perdue announced. The seafood giant will create 200 jobs and invest $20 million in a 200,000-square-foot Toombs County facility. The company plans to begin operations in October and will use Georgia Quick Start’s services to train new employees.
· Global food company General Mills will locate a new distribution center in Social Circle, investing $42 million and creating 112 jobs. General Mills will contract with a third-party logistics provider to staff and run the 1.5-million-square-foot distribution center.
The Entrepreneur Friendly program is successfully invigorating Georgia’s small business community, which totals more than 620,000 incorporated businesses and thousands more unincorporated ones.
81 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties participated in this highly structured program and achieved the state’s designation.
In one year, the conversion of small business project announcements to new jobs and investment growth increased from 29 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 68 percent in fiscal year 2008.
“This national ranking by the Kauffman Foundation validates the success of Georgia’s Entrepreneur Friendly program in stimulating small business growth and cements our status as the most entrepreneur-friendly state in the U.S.,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.
“As a small business owner myself, I know how important it is to support our entrepreneurs, who account for more than 95 percent of Georgia’s businesses.”