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Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 8:27pm

Georgia Strives To Be Competitive

Updated: 2 years ago.
Georgia wants to remain a leader in the Southeast for attracting businesses like Sewon America (in photo), a Kia Motors supplier that employs 800 in LaGrange. State officials traveled around Georgia over the summer, meeting with local leaders to discuss ways to attract business. (Photo: Jeanne Bonner)

State officials will soon release details of an ongoing competitiveness initiative. The plan is likely to include wide-ranging recommendations, but the aim is simply to create jobs.

A team of state officials held a dozen forums this summer with business and civic leaders around the state.

At the forums, leaders discussed tax reform, the state’s education system and ways to incentivize startup companies.

Georgia already offers incentives and a low tax burden to companies, compared to other states. But job growth has slowed to a halt.

Brian Robinson is a spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal.

“It was about coming up with ideas from all over the state to see how we can make Georgia more attractive to do business – to relocate here, if you’re somewhere else, or to start a business here,” he said in an interview last month.

The recommendations come from the 12 forums state officials held with local business and civic leaders.

Augusta’s mayor Deke Copenhaver says holding the forums in different regions of the state was a key part of the process.

“It’s important that we recognize that one size doesn’t fit all, that different areas of the state have different strengths, potentially different weaknesses," he said. "So it’s extremely important to get really the views of all areas of the state.”

The state will release the recommendations at a Georgia Chamber of Commerce event in January.

Some of the recommendations may require legislation in the upcoming General Assembly session.

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