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Ryan Waldrep talks small business at chamber luncheon
NEAT award
Chuck Woods and Tyler Fisher are presented with NEAT Neighborhood Champion trophies by Sara Swida of Keep Liberty Beautiful. - photo by Provided

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly Progress Through People luncheon recently with guest speaker Ryan Waldrep, assistant director of Entrepreneur and Small Business Development with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GaDECD).

The luncheon was sponsored by the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority and was a part of Georgia Small Business Week activities countywide.

Waldrep spoke to the more than 90 attendees about his job with the department, as well as provided statistics on the state of small business in Georgia.

“75.8 percent of all Georgia businesses have less than 10 employees, so you are not alone,” he said.  

He provided several examples of the way that small business owners can take advantage of the GaDECD, from options like one-on-one contact and consulting to information on tax credits and connections.

Waldrep further commended work by the Liberty County Development Authority (LCDA) and referenced many partnerships between his organization and the LCDA and the chamber.

“Many people don’t think of Realtors as small business owners, but we really are. And this luncheon was very educational as there were things that I wasn’t aware of and opportunities that I need to take advantage of in the future that are offered to small business owners,” said Kathy Villafane, associate broker with A Plus Realty Group.

During the luncheon, Keep Liberty Beautiful also awarded Chuck Woods and Tyler Fisher with NEAT Neighborhood Champion trophies, as well as a sign for the neighborhood of Crosscreek located in Midway for their efforts at cleaning, planting and sprucing up their entryway.

The quarterly Win-Dex awards were also presented to Coastal Solar and to the Liberty County Chamber/CVB for their efforts in maintaining businesses with a streak-free shine.

“It was honor to be able to present one of these awards to the Chamber/CVB for their efforts in relocating to the historic Bacon Fraser house, as well as the tremendous effort that they make, with the help of CA Sittle Lawn Care, in keeping the property in tip-top shape,” said Sara Swida, executive director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

To see more about the presentation made by Waldrep, visit under News & Events.

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