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Governor Perdue Announces $14.5 million in OneGeorgia Awards
purdue pic
Gov. Purdue holds an Entrepreneur Friendly Community plaque to present to Liberty County representatives; from left, in front, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kenny Smiley, Entrepreneur Friendly Committee Chairman and chamber board member Janie Diggs, Purdue, and chamber board member Toby Mahan; in back, chamber board members Deborah Sales and Susan McCorkle. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
HAWKINSVILLE - At the recent OneGeorgia Authority board meeting in the historic Hawkinsville Opera House, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced more than $14.5 million in grants aimed at spurring economic development in rural Georgia.
The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce was among organized recognized for helping lead the community to an Entrepreneur Friendly designation. No grants came to the community, however,
"The OneGeorgia Authority is a key asset for rural Georgia," Perdue said. "The investments we are making today will help retain and create jobs, stimulate private investment and enhance regional competitiveness."
The governor and members of the OneGeorgia Authority Board approved grants from the authority's portfolio of financing programs including EDGE, Equity, BRIDGE and ESB as well as Centers of Innovation Research Grants, Entrepreneur Friendly Implementation Grants and "Entrepreneurial Friendly" community recognition.
These awards assist a variety of economic development projects in rural Georgia aimed at creating jobs, stimulating private investment, supporting the retention of existing jobs and enhancing regional competitiveness.
The EDGE (Economic Development, Growth & Enterprise) Fund provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site and are competing with another state or country for the location of the project. The four EDGE awards, totaling $3,419,000, are leveraged against more than $74.5 million in total project costs and are projected to create just under 1,100 jobs within the next two years.
The board also received an update on the Georgia Department of Economic Development's community-based Entrepreneur Friendly program, which recently added 19 counties, including Liberty. To date, 82 communities have earned this designation, and more are working toward this important certification.
Once a community has earned the Entrepreneur Friendly designation, it can apply for grants of up to $25,000. At the recent meeting four EFIF grants were awarded, including $25,000 to Tri-CREST, benefiting Toombs, Montgomery and Tattnall counties.
The OneGeorgia Authority was created using one-third of the state's tobacco settlement to assist the state's most economically challenged areas. The authority is expected to receive about $1.6 billion over the 25-year term of the settlement.
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