Invest Atlanta and more than a dozen participating organizations hosted the I-85 Small Business Resource Event on Tuesday, May 9 at the Peachtree Hills Recreation Center. At the event, businesses affected by the closure could meet with local service providers offering technical assistance, small and medium-sized business lending, consulting services, and more.
“On behalf of the City of Atlanta, Mayor Reed, and the City Council, we are here to support you,” said Invest Atlanta President and CEO Dr. Eloisa Klementich. “We are not going away, this is what we do all the time. You will hear from us after the bridge is open to find out how your business was impacted.”
The following organizations, representing a variety of areas, participated in the event:
- Technical Assistance Providers: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); Small Business Development Center (SBDC); SCORE
- Transportation Providers & Partners: MARTA; Lyft; Livable Buckhead
- Financial Assistance Providers: Invest Atlanta’s Small Business Team; ACE Loans; PNC; Wells Fargo
- Insurance Providers: BB&T Insurance; King & Spalding
- Municipal & Membership-based Support: City of Atlanta Office of Resilience; WorkSource Georgia; The Metro Atlanta Chamber
Kevin Johnson, IA’s Senior VP of Business Development, also announced the launch of a Dine and Shop Week hosted by the Cheshire Bridge Road Restaurant & Retail Association. It’s part of the effort to attract customers back to the impacted area and support neighborhood businesses, and will run from Wednesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 21.
The decision to host the I-85 Business Resource Event was based on information Invest Atlanta’s Business Retention and Expansion team gathered soon after the closure. The BRE team spoke to businesses in the area to determine how the event impacted them. These businesses said they were facing three key challenges: a loss of customers, workers being delayed when commuting to work, and a delay in delivery times.
This feedback also helped our partners identify key actions to take in support of affected businesses. For example, MARTA extended their operating hours, and the city launched of the CommuteATL to shared up-to-the-minute traffic data.
Going forward, affected businesses can continue to reach out to Invest Atlanta with questions and concerns by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.