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State website offers assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19 slowdown

Small business owners can access a state-sponsored website, https://www.georgiasbdc.org/georgia-small-business-recovery/, to learn about a variety of U.S. Small Business Administration programs to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown. The website is offered through the University of Georgia’s 17 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

Beginning Monday, these state partners are hosting a series of web-based information sessions tailored to each region of the state. In addition, SBDC will be available to assist businesses, where necessary. Small business owners in Crisp and Dooly counties can participate Tuesday at 2 p.m. online at https://zoom.us/j/876276219 or by phone by calling 1-646-876-9923 and entering the meeting i.d. #876276219. Wilcox County small business owners can participate Tuesday at 3 p.m. online at https://zoom.us/j/414456876 or by phone by calling 1-646-876-9923 and entering meeting i.d. #414456876.

The federal CARES Act provides funds for SBA to aid small businesses through its network of private small business lenders. Georgia has more than 70 qualified SBA lenders, which are linked in the

“Small businesses are the engine of Georgia’s economy and provide economic opportunity for millions of Georgia families,” said Governor Brian Kemp in announcing the website and webinars. “As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, this critical resource will provide a lifeline to small businesses across our state. I am encouraging all Georgians to support their local businesses in this difficult time. We will get through this together.”

“The University of Georgia has a strong track record of helping to develop new small businesses across the state. Assisting these firms to navigate COVID-19 aligns perfectly with our land-grant mission,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead.