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Liberty designated 'Entrepreneur Friendly'
Kenny Smiley chamber
Liberty County Chamber Executive Director Kenny Smiley - photo by Courier file photo
The Georgia Department of Economic Development deemed Liberty County an “Entrepreneur Friendly” community on Dec. 13.
Ray Snow, the Georgia Department of Economic Development regional representative who formally gave the designation, first explained the importance of a community that encourages its business owners.
His talk included anecdotes of new entrepreneurs who had rough starts, but might have had it easier if they would have “known where to go to get some help.”
But the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce has worked to initiate a program that will provide entrepreneurs with the assistance and training they need, all of which afforded the chamber the state recognition of a designation.  
Finances were noted as one of the key areas of interest for those starting and maintaining their business.
“Everyone wants money,” Snow said. “You got to know where those resources are.”
Snow also did not neglect to mention the county’s connection with the military and how the county does not have to suffer commercially when soldiers deploy.
He said there are “tremendous resources in the military spouse.”
“Some of them (military spouses) may have some pretty good ideas,” Snow said. “(Military spouses) just don’t know who to go to.”
District 2 Commissioner Donald Lovette commented on taking entrepreneurship initiative to the county youth by way of information fairs and exhibits.
He mentioned, and Liberty County Board of Education chair Lily Baker agreed, that many of the county’s younger population are capable of coming up with ideas that can be seriously considered.
Snow responded with how ideas such as Lovette’s “start in County X and it spreads like wildfire to the rest of the state.”
“(With) the ideas that are generated, the only limitations are the imagination that goes with it,” Snow said.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kenny Smiley received the official “Entrepreneur Friendly” banner from Snow and thanked his committee, with special recognition to Janie Diggs, chair of the Liberty Entrepreneur Assistance Program (LEAP). 
“(He and the committee) look forward to embracing this community,” Smiley said. “We don’t want to stop now.”
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