Small businesses are the engine that makes our economy run smoothly

Large industries, office headquarters, commercial locations and expansions usually reap the most publicity in economic development activities. Announcements of plant expansions, new locations or closings definitely bring headlines. Yet, 85% of the members of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and 85% of the business enterprise in the United States are defined as small businesses. Our local small businesses are the backbone of Hall County’s strong economy.

According to the Small Business Administration, the estimated number of small businesses in Hall County as of 2000 was 4,361. These businesses employed 57,403 people and 3,827 of these businesses employed between one and 19 people. There were 234 manufacturing companies that employed 14,427 people.

Hall County retail sales for the year 2000 was $1,699,799,000 – the highest in retail sales of any non-metropolitan county in Georgia. For the year 2005, projected retail sales for Hall County will be $2,250,326,000.

These small companies are the engine that makes our economy run smoothly. Small business issues are of great importance and are at the heart of the Greater Hall Chamber’s ongoing Business Plan.

To begin 2003, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council will offer an initiative that focuses on small business issues. Under the direction of Greater Hall Chamber Government Affairs Vice Chairman, Bob Coleman (Coleman & Chambers), the council will present a series of Small Business Seminars. The breakfast seminars will be held monthly, beginning in February, and discuss timely topics for small business.

Seminar topics under consideration include: finding the right entity (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation); technology; accounting and financing; human resource and employee issues; retirement plans, benefits and health insurance; advertising and marketing.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council, as well as the Board of Directors and staff are committed to bringing our small businesses the latest in industry information and resources. Stay tuned in to the Chamber’s website (, the monthly newsletter Business Link, your monthly general mailing from the Chamber, and even the newest form of membership communications – e-Biz Link, an electronic newsletter. These communication tools will inform you of upcoming small business seminars and other activities. Stay in touch with your Chamber of Commerce… we’re working for you.

Note: Small Business Administration data provided by J.C. Smith of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center