Valdosta makes starting a business easy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta makes starting a business easy

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - In today's struggling economy, opening a small business is risky. 

The City of Valdosta is going to great lengths to make the process as easy as possible.

"If you want to have a positive impact on your unemployment rate and your quality of life, and if you want to put people to work, you really need to help nurture your small business community," says Brad Lofton, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.

To make the daunting task of opening a small business as simple as possible, Valdosta created a one-stop-shop for information.  At the Economic Development Office, business owners can obtain all the information they need about the process.

The city even offers guidance as to which locations would be best for certain businesses.

"It's unfortunately one of the riskier ventures you can do," says Lofton.  "The majority of small businesses, so that more of a reason to provide them with the resources they need."

The city's industrial authority offers similar help.

"We have first step meetings with our city and county professionals where we can sit down with you and walk you through, A-Z, what it takes to get the business up and running," Lofton says. 

Gelana Goddard has lived in Valdosta for 45 years.  She says small businesses are an asset to the city.

"Variety is the spice of life," Goddard says.  "You have one thing here and one thing there, and you just have that many more options of places to go and businesses to do business with."

As a consumer, Goddard is happy Valdosta is making it easy for small businesses to come there.

"You know, a chain is a chain, but when you have small businesses, the are anxious to please their customers," adds Goddard. 

Because of the benefits small businesses offer a community, the City of Valdosta says they'll continue to come up with new ways to make starting a business as user-friendly as possible.

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