March 13-17 is Georgia Small Business Week, and Valdosta Mayor John Gayle will kick off the local observance with a proclamation on Tuesday, March 14, at 10 a.m., at City Hall. The event is co-hosted by Valdosta Main Street and the SEEDS Business Resource Center to recognize the critical role that small businesses play in our local economy and quality of life.
Downtown Main Street will also run a weeklong social media campaign that will highlight the diverse mix of dining, shopping, arts and entertainment services and venues, churches, government and professional services that positively impact our community.
Georgia was named the No. 1 state in the nation to do business with for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, Georgia has been ranked number two in the country for the fastest growth of women-owned businesses, top five for black-owned businesses, and scored an “A” for Small Business Friendliness.
Valdosta’s businesses have experienced significant local achievements and community success, as well.
Downtown Valdosta is the home to an estimated 786 businesses, with approximately 8,200 jobs, representing 20 percent of the city’s total jobs. In 2016, Downtown Valdosta welcomed six net new businesses that brought approximately 63 net new jobs and $7.5 million of investment to our downtown.
Did you know that 95 percent of local business owners donate to charities, and 90 percent of their donations go to local organizations? In fact, research has shown that 60 cents of every shopping dollar spent with a sole proprietorship is retained and recirculated in our community, compared to six cents of every dollar spent at a Big Box retailer or 20 cents of every dollar spent at a chain store.
It makes “cents” to shop local. For more information, contact the Valdosta Main Street office at 229-259-3577.