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The Path to Prosperity Event in Georgia Gives Boosts to Small Businesses in the Southeastern U.S.

Posted by staff of USDA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization in Equity Farming Initiatives
May 15, 2023
Acting Assistant Secretary Malcom Shorter, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. and Executive Director Michael Hill sitting at table discussing the importance of collaboration to aid small businesses

It was a great start to National Small Business Month at the Southeast States “Path to Prosperity" event in Albany, Georgia on May 2. Path to Prosperity is a regional business and economic development workshop series that features experts from the financial industry, federal government, community partners, and stakeholders.

To facilitate the workshop, USDA has partnered with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Small Business Administration to give self-employed individuals, small businesses, and communities useful info, tools, and resources, as well as a chance to engage in dynamic discussions intended to create economic progress and foster hope.

The event’s objectives:

  • Promote sustainable relationships with financial institutions for unbanked and underbanked small businesses, individuals,
  • Providing technical help and financial education to small businesses and individuals to improve their bankability,
  • Increase the number of SBA-certified lenders to help small, minority, and underserved businesses get capital, and
  • Develop contracting relationships with Federal government and private industry partners.

Southeast States "Path to Prosperity" event included self-employed individuals, small businesses, and communities from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. As a result, participants obtained more bank referrals and business development help.

“The Path to Prosperity event highlights how the Federal Government, along with our local, State, and private partners are working to address the needs of our economy by strengthening the engine of our economy and the glue of our communities — America’s small businesses,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration, Malcom Shorter in opening remarks at the Georgia event.

Also in attendance was Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., who represents Georgia's Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bishop, a longtime supporter of agriculture and small businesses, serves as the Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as well as other federal departments and agencies, are not only safety nets to help our small businesses survive in times of crisis, but also partners to help them thrive today and in the future,” said Bishop, confirming the importance and impact of Federal and partnering collaborative efforts.

To help small businesses even more, Bishop, Shorter, and Michael T. Hill, Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition of Black Chambers, met to talk about how the Federal Government can improve service and access to capital for American small businesses and communities, and strengthen collaboration with partners and stakeholders.

Bishop said “When more people can start small businesses – including farming and ranching enterprises – we are promoting a stronger national economy built on a local, resilient foundation. The increased competition not only strengthens our supply chain, but the competition is also better for consumers – helping reduce inflation and incentivizing industry innovation.”

Category/Topic: Equity Farming Initiatives