You’re going to start a business! That’s exciting, terrifying, and a little crazy right? Don’t worry, we are doing this together and working together makes you twice as likely to succeed. That leads us to step two in the City of Atlanta’s guide to starting a business.

You’ve got a viable idea on paper in the form of a business plan, it is time to engage the business community and acquire resources. Both of which will enable you to open your business, protect your interests, and find help when you need it.

Your first stop to get business help in this city is certainly Invest Atlanta. This is pretty much the local hub of information for starting a business, buying real estate or a home, developing sites, and even help for renters.

Their stated mission is, “…to advance Atlanta’s global competitiveness by growing a strong economy, building vibrant communities and increasing economic prosperity for all Atlantans.” I attended their “Invest Atlanta’s Small Business Loan Seminar”(LINK) to find out more…

At the Small Business Information Session that I attended with our Editor-In-Chief, Marshall Latimore, we found a nearly full room of Atlantans in differing stages of business ownership and development.

First off, the meeting environment was positive, engaging, and interactive. I learned that a whole host of programs exist for people looking to start a business in Atlanta.

Programs, including the Business Improvement Loan Fund, Phoenix Loan Fund, Empowerment Zone Loan Fund, Opportunity Loan Fund, New Market Catalyst Fund, Invest Atlanta NOW, Street Vendor Loan Fund, SBA 504 Loan Program, Industrial Revenue Bonds, and the Export/Import Bank, are all available to help you find the money you’ll need to start and run your business.

They would absolutely love to hear from you, their website is an excellent place to start:

Another resource is the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center. The Georgia SBDC has a fantastic website that includes online training courses as well as a full calendar of live training events around the area.

I saw specific classes like, “Boots to Business – Military Only,” “Ready, Aim, Fire: Social Media Class,” “Wine Business Conference,” as well as starter classes like “Writing a Business Plan,” and “Business Plan Essentials.”

They have support services for many groups like Agribusiness, Women/Minority, Veterans, Medical, and free one-on-one consulting with small business owners in the state of Georgia.

Their website is extremely well organized and makes it easy to find information. Let us know what you think and if these resources are useful on your journey. Also, let us know if you have any experience with the Small Business Development Center in the comments or by sending us a message.

You’ve done it! You’ve made it through another step on the road to business success. OK, so reading this article doesn’t mean that you’re done, but don’t worry, we are still just learning the 10-step plan. Next week, we start looking for a great location for your business in the Atlanta area. Hint, it is way easier than you ever thought. ✊🏾



Go back to the beginning of our series here:

Jump to Step 1, “Write Your Business Plan” here:

Bonus points: Sign up for the class I mentioned above, it’s at Invest Atlanta. The Small Business Loan Seminar:

Invest Atlanta Skyline
Invest Atlanta Skyline

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