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ARC’s CREATE Community Awards Honor: City of Stone Mountain | Arts & Culture

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ARC’s CREATE Community Awards Honor: City of Stone Mountain
ARC’s CREATE Community Awards Honor: City of Stone Mountain

ATLANTA — (ARC) Through the annual CREATE Community Local Government Awards program, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will recognize five local governments for their innovation and efforts to make the Atlanta region a better place.

The CREATE awards recognize several areas of achievement: Community Involvement & Collaboration (Fayette County), Regional Prosperity & Economic Development (City of Stone Mountain), Environmental Sustainability (Gwinnett County), Application & Innovation in Technology (Fulton County) and Educational Excellence (City of Decatur).

Regional Prosperity & Economic Development:

AWARD WINNER – City of Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain Micro-Enterprise Program

Attracting both private sector investment and increased business activity to their downtown district, the City of Stone Mountain has created a Micro-Enterprise Program they refer to as “SMart,” which provides low- to moderate-income artists with the necessary components of small business entrepreneurship. The City of Stone Mountain has partnered with both DeKalb County and a local non-profit organization to extend training and management services to program participants. Through the program, artists are selected based on an evaluation of talent and interest in beginning a small business, and then given a number of opportunities to more easily and effectively develop a successful enterprise.

These opportunities include studio and gallery space offered at subsidized rates, furnished utilities and assistance with marketing. Participants are required to attend semi-monthly educational management classes to help them build their small businesses. After progress is monitored with evaluations for a number of months, additional guidance is provided if necessary.

Already, this program has assisted five artists in starting small business enterprises, converted three storefronts into businesses and increased pedestrian traffic in the downtown district. Because of the increased business activity, one small business separate from the program has opened its doors downtown.

A breakfast to honor the winners and finalists will be held at the Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community on Thursday, March 3 at 7 a.m. To register for the breakfast, visit ARC Online.