Lowndes County celebrates National Small Business Week

“Our community wouldn’t exist without our small businesses.”
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Cities nationwide are celebrating Small Business Week. Businesses that many say are a vital part of our economy.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate small businesses as part of National Small Business Week,” Christie Moore, president of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, said. “It’s so important to celebrate the investment that our businesses make in our community. You have the choice to start your business anywhere. And we’re thrilled to celebrate the businesses throughout our entire Lowndes County that chose to invest here.”

A small business is defined by the Census as any business that has annual revenues of $16.5 million or less, with fewer than 750 employees.

“Our community wouldn’t exist without our small businesses,” Moore said. “I don’t get dressed without our small businesses. This is from City Market, which is here in Valdosta. Every aspect of your life is touched by a small business. They are giving opportunities that wouldn’t exist if they didn’t exist.”

Lowndes County leaders say the county is home to over 5,000 small businesses that are the backbone of the community. And Driftwood Day Spa is one new small business they’re celebrating during the first week of May.

“Within the United States, small businesses make up about 80% of the nation’s income,” Christina McLarty, owner of Driftwood Day Spa, said. “And locally, we have a big impact on not only the people that are working here but also the people that live here. As we keep money here in town, it helps everyone as a community grow.”

The city of Valdosta and Lowndes County signed this joint proclamation on the 1st Day of May, to recognize the small businesses in their community.

“The journey has been definitely one for the books,” McLarty said. “I have learned a lot since I have been doing this and have seen a lot of growth. I feel like it has bettered me as not only a business owner but also a leader for the other people who are worrying here. We love downtown. Downtown is growing exponentially, and we’re proud to be a part of that growth.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently signed bill HB 128 into law that addresses challenges small businesses experience within the state procurement process. At the ceremony he stated, “By cutting red tape and ensuring that these businesses are well equipped to compete for state contracts, we are further building on the promise to keep Georgia the best state to find opportunity.”