Latest Business Blog News

SBA to Give Inaugural State of the Region Address

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Inaugural SBA State of the Region Address

Monday, February 2, 2015

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (EST)

by Cassius F. Butts, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Streaming live from the

Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center

In Atlanta

#SOTR2015   @SBASoutheast

Click Here to Join the Live Stream

Streaming goes live the Day of the Address

Register Today for South Metro Development Outlook Conference

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Registration is now open for the  South Metro Development Outlook (SMDO) Conference being held Wednesday, February 18th at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.  

SMDO is the brainchild of Michael Hightower the Managing Partner of The Collaborative Firm, a land use planning, program management and real estate development company. The Collaborative Firm has been hosting South Metro Development Outlook since 2002, and it has grown to become the largest conference of its kind in south metropolitan Atlanta.

Now in its 13th year, the SMDO Conference convenes professionals with an interest in fostering smart growth in the southern crescent, and highlights the City of Atlanta and the following seven counties: Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, Spalding and South Fulton. SMDO consistently features highly acclaimed speakers providing invaluable information relevant to South Metro’s continued growth and today’s ever changing economy. Other program participants include elected officials from the seven-county region. 

South Metro Development Outlook 2015 will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, at GICC, which is located at 2000 Convention Center Concourse in College Park, Georgia. This year’s conference promises to be better than ever, as it will feature noted speakers and some of the hottest topics in the industry including the film, transportation, Hartsfield-Jackson Internal Airport update, BeltLine West, the new Clayton County/MARTA partnership and more.

Tickets and further information can be found here:

Chamber Hosts GA Roadshow Skills Initiative

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Business and industry in Georgia and in the nation are facing serious challenges of not being able to find skilled workers to fill their open positions. Approximately 5,000 jobs remain unfilled due in part to the “skills gap” in Georgia with approximately 3.8 million nationwide.  Meanwhile the unemployment rate holds steady at 7.2% in Georgia.

Many schools and companies have realized that they need to work together with local educational entities in order to solve the skills-gap challenge. Business and industry, as well as local schools will mutually benefit from such partnerships as students receive instruction in necessary skills in real-world settings, while businesses have access to potential employees. The new Roadshow will showcase successful local school-business partnerships, facilitate dialogue between important community stakeholders, and present these models to other businesses and interested schools (administration, teachers, students and parents).  Stakeholders will have the opportunity to initiate valuable contacts and learn from each other.

The first Georgia Roadshow Skills Initiative will be held at the Fayette Chamber on February 9th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  FLYER:  GA_Skills-Roadshow2015

Info at:

or contact Michaela Claus-Nix , Georgia Department of Education ( Mr. Patrick Wallace, Fayette County Schools (



FCBOE RFQ for Copy Paper

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Please see the attached Request for Quotes (RFQ). This RFQ can also be located on our website ( later today under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards. Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for participating in this solicitation.copy_paper_rfq

FCBOE RFP for Professional Learning Spaces

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Please see the attached Request for Proposals (RFP). This RFP can also be located on our website ( under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards.


FCBOE RFQ for Sport Court Flooring for Elementary Schools

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Please see the attached Request for Quotes (RFQ). This RFQ can also be located on our website ( later today under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awardssportcourt_rfq_20148999

SBA Launches 2015 Emerging Leaders Initiative

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Entrepreneurship Training Initiative Sparks Increased Small Business Growth and Job Creation

The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched its 2015 Emerging Leaders executive-level training series in 48 cities and communities across the country.

The initiative has trained more than 2,400 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and its impact continues to expand in helping small businesses to grow and create jobs throughout the country.  There are 22 new cities joining the initiative for the first time, including Birmingham, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, Puerto Rico and Providence.

“The Emerging Leaders Program is a resource that can open lucrative doors for America’s small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “The addition of over 20 new cities in 2015 will help serve even more entrepreneurs.  Graduates of the initiative have measurably increased their revenue, and helped create jobs and drive economic growth in their local communities.”

The Emerging Leaders Program has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities.  Emerging Leader graduates have secured more than $1 billion in government contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing.   Graduates also reported having created nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs since the program’s inception.  Sixty-two percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 70 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.  The initiative graduated nearly 400 small business owners in 2014, representing the largest graduating class since it began in 2008.

The seven month executive intensive entrepreneurship education series includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

Local recruitment for the 2015 training cycle is underway at selected SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April. Information on how interested small business owners can apply and eligibility criteria can be found at

The hosting locations for the 2015 Emerging Leaders initiative classes are as follows:

Albuquerque, N.M.                                        Memphis, Tenn.

Atlanta, Ga.                                                        Miami, Fla.

Austin, Texas*                                  Milwaukee, Wis.

Bakersfield, Calif.*                                          Minneapolis, Minn.

Baltimore, Md.                                  Nashville, Tenn.*

Birmingham, Ala.*                                           New Jersey, N.J.

Boise, Idaho*                                                    New Orleans, La.

Boston, Mass.                                                   New York, N.Y.*

Charlotte, N.C.*                                               Oklahoma City, Okla.

Chicago, Ill.                                                         Philadelphia, Pa.

Columbus, Ohio*                                             Phoenix, Ariz.

Dallas, Texas                                                      Pittsburgh, Pa.*

Denver, Colo.                                                    Portland, Ore.

Detroit, Mich.                                                    Providence, R.I.*

El Paso, Texas*                                 Salt Lake City, Utah*

Fargo, N.D.*                                                       San Juan, Puerto Rico*

Honolulu, Hawaii                                              Seattle, Wash.

Houston, Texas*                                              Sioux Falls, S.D.*

Indianapolis, Ind.*                                           St Louis, Mo.

Jackson, Miss.*                                 Syracuse, N.Y.

Las Vegas, Nev.*                                              Tampa, Fla.*

Little Rock, Ark.*                                              Washington, D.C.

Los Angeles, Calif.                                            Wichita, Kan.

Louisville, Ky.*                                  Youngstown, Ohio

*new locations for 2015


For more information about Emerging Leaders, or to contact the respective local SBA District office in that area, please visit

Free Seminar from SBA

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Dec ’14
6:00 pm

How to Create Winning E-Books, Podcasts, Webinars and more

Presented by U. S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Office and Urban League of Greater Atlanta

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in partnership with the Urban League of greater Atlanta invites you to attend the Ignite Your Business with Content Marketing Series: How to Create Winning E-Books, Podcasts, Webinars and more.  Content is King!  So what is content, exactly?  Content is a broad term that refers to anything created and uploaded to a website.  By creating winning content you can convert browsers into buyers and customers into regulars or even better, brand ambassadors.  Unlike other forms of marketing content marketing can:

  •           Attract Customers
  • ·         Educate your buyers about a purchase they are considering
  • ·         Overcome resistance or address objections
  • ·         Establish your credibility, trust and authority in your industry
  • ·         Tell Your Story
  • ·         Build buzz via social networks
  • ·         Build a base of fans and inspire customers to love you
  • ·         Inspire impulse buys

Part One – Blogs, E-books and Videos

Part One is designed to introduce participants into the content creation process.   Starting  with first base: Blogs.  Your blog serves as the hub of your online content.  You will learn how  to make the perfect blog so you can post online with confidence.  Once you are  comfortable with making awesome blog posts, E-Books are the next progression. You will learn the nine steps to creating an E-book that people will want to read and share.  The final piece in Part One will be on Video.  You will learn everything you need to show your clients great content.  You will learn what equipment you need, shooting and scripting and how to promote your videos.


Location:  U. S. Small Business Administration, Peachtree Center—Harris Tower,

233 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 1900, Atlanta, GA 30303

Click here to register:

For more information contact Ms. Charlotte Johnson 404-331-0100, Ext 405 or

Rinnai Corporation Celebrates 40 Years in Business

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Rinnai Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of gas appliances. Established in 1920 as a manufacturer of pressurized oil cooking stoves, Rinnai has expanded its product portfolio to include a wide range of residential and commercial gas appliances for efficiently heating water, air and food. Specifically, this includes continuous flow tankless water heaters, wall-mounted and free-standing condensing boilers, highly sophisticated direct vent furnaces, vent-free heaters, air conditioning units, kitchen appliances such as tabletop stoves, ranges and ovens and washers/dryers. Rinnai products are known throughout the world for their superior quality and safety, gas- modulating valve technology and sophisticated thermostatic-control systems. The company has built its reputation upon achievements in technological innovation and manufacturing efficiency and is now one of the largest companies in Japan. Rinnai Corporation annual corporate revenues, including those of its subsidiaries, are in excess of $2.5 billion.

Headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, Rinnai maintains an international presence through 20 international subsidiaries and affiliates around the world. Rinnai America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rinnai Corporation,  was established in 1974 and is headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga, and is responsible for the marketing and distribution of Rinnai Corporation’s innovative products in the US and Canada. All products distributed by Rinnai America have been approved by the CSA (formerly the American Gas Association) and adhere to the strictest company-enforced safety and quality procedures, as well as to the standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute. Since its inception in 1974, Rinnai America’s product line has grown from distributing spa heaters to marketing and distributing an extensive product line that today includes commercial-grade rice cookers, direct vent wall furnace, vent-free fan convector, wall-mounted and free-standing condensing boilers, and the highly efficient and technologically advanced Rinnai tankless water heating system.

As the technology leader in its industry, Rinnai is the No. 1 selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in the US and Canada. Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters operate only when the need for hot water is detected and shut down when the demand for hot water ceases, so they use up to 40 percent less energy than tank-style water heaters and produce an endless supply of hot water. Because Rinnai tankless water heaters heat water as it’s needed, there is no storage tank of hot water to deplete, which means a home can run several showers in a row or multiple hot water appliances at the same time with no fear of running out of hot water. In addition, tankless units offer a longer lifespan than tank water heaters as well as space savings; plus, they are ENERGY STAR® qualified. Together, these attributes make Rinnai’s tankless technology the superior source for hot water.

With a global perspective to create 21st century products for the home and business, Rinnai Corporation commits itself to safety and the pursuit of comfortable lifestyles. For more information about Rinnai America’s entire product line, visit

ARC Seeks Millennials for New Advisory Committee

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The Atlanta Regional Commission is actively seeking individuals from throughout the 10-county Atlanta region who are 18-38 years old, with a desire to help shape the future of the region.  Applicants will be considered for inclusion in ARC’s newly created Millennial Advisory Committee through December 19.

The Committee is being led by two of ARC’s youngest board members, Brant Aden PE, LEED GA and Amol Naik.  Mr. Aden is a Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Foresite Group, Inc, a firm focused on civil engineering, landscape architecture, structural engineering, telecommunications, transportation and other consulting services.  He joined ARC’s Board in 2013 and represents Citizen District 10, which includes portions of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. Mr. Naik is the Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel at Google for the Southeastern United States. Prior to attending law school, Amol was a journalist whose work included a stint at the Washington D.C. bureau of an international daily newspaper. He joined the Board of ARC in 2014 and represents Citizen District 4, which includes portions of Atlanta and Fulton County.

The leadership of the ARC Board felt compelled to actively engage this age cohort as recent research conducted by C&M/Civic Strategies for ARC indicates that young people between the ages of 18-35, are widely regarded as critical to the region’s future. Millennials are thought to represent the next generation of residents who will live and work in the Atlanta region, shaping and leading it for the next 30 to 40 years.  This generation represents 25 percent of the population of metro Atlanta.  The full report on Millennials in the Atlanta region, along with the application, can be found at

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