News & Media

County Leaders Graduate from the Georgia Academy for Economic Development

May 16, 2017

The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development announces Putnam County graduates from the 2017 Region 6 Multi-Day Training Program.  Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from 10 counties in Middle Georgia.  The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.

Putnam County graduates at the May 10, 2017, ceremony included: Kaitlyn Parham and Joshua Daniel. Also pictured are class facilitators Jim Lovett (GA Power) and Araina Reaves (GA EMC).

Created in 1993, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia.  The Board of Directors of the Academy represent public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia.  Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually in all twelve regions of the state. Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program.

Georgia EMC’s Vice President, Community and Economic Development (CED), Pat B. Merritt, CEcD says, “Our Community Development team is proud to partner with and provide facilitation and presentation services on behalf of Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives. Involved since its inception, the team’s work with the Academy graduates has enhanced levels of leadership capacity and community development preparedness for continued economic development progress throughout the Region.” In Region 6, CED cooperative members are Central Georgia EMC, Flint Energies, Oconee EMC, Southern Rivers EMC, and Tri-County EMC.

“Georgia Power has historically played a major role in the State’s economic development. The Academy has formalized the opportunity to bring together stakeholders to share best practices, leverage expertise, and build relationships among our communities with the same goal in mind: ensuring economic growth and prosperity for our state. We are proud of the strong partnership that delivers this program in each of our regions every year,” says Georgia Power Company Community Development Manager Johnna Robinson, chair of the Georgia Academy board.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.  “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development,  planning, and other essentials for community success.  In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development.  Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program.

The next Region 6 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in February 2018.  For more information on this, please contact Tonya Mole at 404-852-6876 or by email at




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5 Ways to Get Credit for Your Business

By Marco Carbajo
May 11, 2017

Did you know business credit can be just as important as having personal credit?

It’s essential for small businesses to get credit so they can have access to the financing needed to cover any unforeseen expenses, manage cash flow and grow. In fact, studies have shown that over 65% off all business owners use credit for business purchases.

Now building business credit may seem like an intimidating process – especially if your company is a startup. But the good news is it’s not.

The process of getting credit for your business is not that different to building your own personal credit, only you do it in your company’s name using its tax identification number not your social security number.

Here are five ways to get credit for your business:

1) Get Payment Terms from Suppliers – If you’re an established business you can most likely get payment terms from suppliers.  While suppliers may use various tools to decide whether to extend credit to your business, the most common way is to check your business credit report with agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet.

As a startup with little to no credit history, the best way to improve your chances of getting credit from a supplier is to become a good-paying business customer.  Once approved, credit arrangements are usually on net-30 or net 60-day terms. With supplier based credit you can buy products or services while paying for them at later date.

2) Apply for a Business Credit Card – A business credit card is the quickest way to build credit history for your business. It helps keep personal and business purchases separate while providing the flexibility, control and convenience needed to manage the company’s finances.

Before you apply it’s important to check your personal credit ratings because a card issuer will evaluate your application for a company credit card based on this information. Although you will supply your company’s business tax identification number, your business is still required to provide a personal guarantor on its behalf.

3) Open a Service Agreement for your Company – When you enter into a service agreement with a service provider it’s in fact a credit arrangement. You receive a service with the agreement that your company will pay for the service every month. A company cell phone, internet service or web hosting are all examples of credit arrangements that your business can enter.

4) Open a Secured Business Credit Card – If a poor credit rating is preventing you from getting unsecured business credit then consider opening a secured business credit card. A secured company card is financing that is protected by an asset.  Basically, you are providing "security" in the form of a cash deposit that your credit line will be repaid according to the agreed terms and conditions.

Keep in mind the card issuer will periodically review your account for an opportunity to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card. Your business may become eligible if it manages its account responsibly.

5) Apply for a Retail Credit Account – Retailers offering office supplies, computers, building supplies, electronics, etc. offer revolving store credit accounts for business customers. This type of credit can be used at all the retailer’s locations giving your company the purchasing power it needs to grow. This will help establish additional trade references for the business which may be used on future credit applications.

As you get credit for your business and make timely payments to creditors and suppliers you build trade references which become an asset to the business.  Did you know a typical business credit application will ask for three trade references?  Banks and alternative lenders that lend money and extend credit rely on credit checks and trade references in their decision-making process.

As your company grows, having access to credit is a must.  By building a strong business credit report you can receive more favorable rates and terms giving your business optimal use of its funding ability.


For more information, please contact Terry Schwindler, Economic Development Director at:
706-485-1884 or .

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