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Small business promoted at chamber of commerce luncheon
chamber group
Local officials stand with Ryan Waldrep, an assistant director with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. They are, from left, Flemington Mayor Paul Hawkins, county commission Chairman Donald Lovette, HDDA program assistant Catie Fanucci, Waldrep, HDDA Main Street Manager Crystal Caines, Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown and City Manager Kenny Howard

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly Progress Through People luncheon Thursday with guest speaker Ryan Waldrep, assistant director of entrepreneur and small business development with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The luncheon was sponsored by the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority and was a Georgia Small Business Week activity.
Waldrep spoke about his job, as well as provided statistics to the 90-plus people at the luncheon.

“Seventy-five point eight percent of all Georgia businesses have less than 10 employees,” he said about the state of small business in Georgia. “So you are not alone.”
He provided several examples of the way 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 and referenced many partnerships between his organization, 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 awarded NEAT Neighborhood Champion trophies to Chuck Woods and Tyler Fisher, as well as a sign for their neighborhood of Cross Creek 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.

“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,” Keep Liberty Beautiful Director Sara Swida said.
You can watch all of Waldrep’s presentation on the Chamber’s website under News & Events.

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