Councilwoman Gilyard Turns Focus to Small Business Development

Last weekend, Councilwoman Naeema Gilyard invited local vendors to set up shop and share their products with members of the community during an Artisan Bazaar at Renaissance Middle School.

It’s just one of the events she’s put on her calendar this year to cultivate relationships with small business owners, and explore ways to support them in an area that hasn’t had much development.

“District 4 is so unique, you have a lot of undeveloped land and not a lot of buildings,” she said. “That’s something we need really desperately. I’m dedicated to making it happen.”

She hinted that she’s already made some headway. In the interim, she’ll be inviting business owners to attend her small business roundtable on July 11, where they’ll be encouraged to brainstorm and share ideas on how they can collaborate on projects.

On October 10, she’ll host a District 4 economic development tour and on November 7, her birthday, she’ll host a party for the business community. She plans to invite business owners in District 4 and throughout city.

Councilwoman Gilyard’s efforts align with other initiatives being rolled out by Destination South Fulton, the city’s economic development department. Plans are in the works for a business incubator and resource center, and a small business sustainability grant program.

Councilwoman Gilyard emphasized that small businesses drive the economy, and the importance of having space for them to lease, develop and grow. And while she’s making this a priority, she’s still equally focused on other hot button issues plaguing residents in her district, including the Bishop Road landfill fire and warehouse construction in and around South Fulton.

She’ll host a second environmental forum in June and a townhall in August to tackle some of these issues. Additionally, according to her website, an environmental justice program is planned for the FY 2020 budget.

Photo Credit: City of South Fulton

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