The DDA recognizes the contribution small businesses make to our local economy by creating jobs, driving innovation, and providing valuable services. As a way for us to support those ready to take their ambitions and aspirations to the next level, we are excited to partner with Augusta Technical College to utilize $2.35M in Congressional and Small Business Administration funding to establish a microenterprise center in the heart of downtown Augusta.
With the anticipated opening date set to be announced in 2024, the Broad Street facility will serve as an incubator and active commerce location for new entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovators, and existing business owners in our community. Temporary workspaces, meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen, technology equipment, and retail space will all be available to accelerator program participants. In addition, there will be opportunities to develop pitches, refine business models, and conduct market research in one centrally located training center.
Participants will also have the opportunity to interact and network with local venture capitalists and commercial banking representatives who will offer guidance in acquiring funding and accessing capital. Program facilitators will give advice and recommendations on matters including concept ideation and proposals, business ethics, intellectual property, marketing, finance, grant writing, and leadership. Boutique resources will be available to both new and existing small businesses.
The power of connection and collaboration cannot be overstated when fostering new business owners’ entrepreneurial spirit and empowerment. The exchanging of ideas in a centralized environment of inclusion, creation, and cooperation offers genuine opportunities for networking with community stakeholders who can help support and grow new businesses.
Assisting local entrepreneurs leads to a more vibrant community and greater diversity in public services as well as a boom for job creation and the local economy. According to Stephan Goetz, professor of regional economics at Penn State, “Local ownership matters in important ways. Smaller, locally-owned businesses provide higher, long-term economic growth. We can’t look outside of the community for our economic salvation. The best strategy is to help people start new businesses locally and help them grow and be successful.”
The DDA is honored to help small business owners achieve their goals, turn ideas into realities, and develop small beginnings into big success here in downtown Augusta, GA!
Authored by Tara Wood, Media Relations Coordinator
Downtown Development Authority of Augusta