Georgia’s position as the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business didn’t happen by chance. Companies all over the world continue to call Georgia home because of its thriving business-friendly environment, logistics infrastructure, skilled workforce, high-speed connectivity, and educational institutions.
The goal of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is to create quality jobs and investment opportunities in Georgia by taking a very integrated approach. Not only does the state recruit traditional industrial development that is essential to Georgia’s economy, but also welcomes millions of visitors who are traveling from around the world to explore this great state, supports thriving and record-breaking creative and entertainment industries, provides companies with resources to grow and reach new international markets, and works with universities, technical colleges and communities to establish a strong workforce.
For the fifth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine ranked Georgia’s business climate No. 1. Since Governor Nathan Deal took office in January 2011, 2,465 projects, $32.8 billion investment and 182,802 jobs have been announced. Project activity is strong, and the state continues to lead the nation in economic development its pipeline of projects continues to grow.
Georgia Continues to See Growth in Key Sectors Including:
Financial Technology (FinTech) – As Georgia continues to maintain its status as a leader in business, the FinTech sector relies heavily on the state to meet the demands of an evolving society. Not only do 70 percent of all financial transactions in the U.S. process through Georgia-based FinTech corporations, more than 60 percent of the U.S. FinTech market is located in Georgia. Accessible resources play a huge role of the success of this industry. Georgia FinTech companies generate annual revenue of more than $72 billion, placing the state third in the nation, behind only New York and California – earning the nickname “Transaction Alley.” In FY17, the FinTech Industry saw a 250 percent increase. Additionally, around 100 FinTech companies are headquartered or have significant presence in Georgia with six of the 10 largest U.S. payment processing firms based in the State of Georgia.
Cybersecurity – Affects almost every industry and is of the utmost importance for companies and consumers in Georgia. The state serves as one of the nation’s elite cybersecurity hubs, ranking third in the nation for information security, and generating more than $4.7 billion in annual revenue. More than 115 cybersecurity firms call Georgia home. Cybersecurity companies enjoy connectivity through 500,000 fiber-optic lines, including the country’s two largest fiber-optic trunk routes. Through education and innovation happening at institutes across the state, Georgia’s cybersecurity environment helps to ensure that digital records and materials remain private.
Augusta, Georgia is now at the epicenter of cyber security. The Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training, set to open in 2018, will be a $100 million state-owned facility designed to promote modernization in cybersecurity technology for private and public industries through unique education, training, research, and practical applications. The facility will be responsible for training all 85 state departments in cybersecurity, and will also serve as a research and development hub for military, academic, and private sector collaboration.
Manufacturing – Continues to remain one of Georgia’s strongest industries. Georgia has 9,620 manufacturing facilities employing 396,440 individuals, and the annual manufacturing wage is 11 percent higher than the overall average for jobs in Georgia. Manufacturing companies in Georgia understand they can lower their costs, take leaps in innovation and secure business advantages in the state.
Small Business – Did you know that almost 98 percent of registered establishments in Georgia are classified as small businesses? These companies are the backbone of the state’s economy and 1,760 companies received one-on-one assistance from GDEcD’s entrepreneur and small business team in FY17.
International Trade – In 2017, total trade between Georgia and the world reached 225 unique countries and territories, exceeding a record-breaking $128.6 billion. In the past 10 years, this trade has grown by 53 percent. Georgia now ranks 8th in the U.S. for total trade.
The state’s International Trade Division leverages Georgia’s international representatives located in 12 strategic markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the U.K.
Centers of Innovation – Exclusive to Georgia, the Centers of Innovation provide more than 1,500 businesses each year with the tools they need to connect, compete and grow globally. They are an integral part of the state’s economic development efforts, and assist companies by connecting them to a number of resources in the State of Georgia.
Georgia’s six centers include six strategic industries which include: Aerospace, Agribusiness, Energy Technology, Information Technology, Logistics and Manufacturing. Projects supported by the Centers of Innovation resulted in $18 million in direct economic benefit.
Workforce – A highly-skilled workforce is essential to Georgia’s economy. To equip companies locating in Georgia with the best workforce in the nation WorkSource Georgia was launched, which has trained and employed more than 21,000 Georgians.
To further connect the state’s workforce with specific needs of companies in Georgia, in March 2017, Trade Five, was introduced, which is leading the charge to educate students and young adults about rewarding career opportunities in Manufacturing, Logistics, Construction, Energy and Telecommunications.
Ultimately with the state’s ability to offer companies a strong and thriving quality of life; not only is Georgia a great place to do business, but it is a great place to live. The state has become a prime destination for tourism, and has become one of the most sought-after filming locations in the world, and its thriving arts community contributed to the overall vitality of the state.
From opening a small business to relocating your global headquarters, filming a new movie or just visiting the beautiful coast – GDEcD is glad that Georgia is on your mind. The state looks forward to continuing to work with partners everywhere to maintain its reputation as a leader in the global market place and to generate long-term benefits for Georgians. To learn more about the Georgia Department of Economic Development, visit Georgia.org.
Visit http://www.expansionsolutionsmagazine.com/georgia_ed for local economic development office directory listings.