Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens recently announced that the City of Atlanta through Invest Atlanta is opening five small business resource centers as part of its ATLinBusiness program to provide city of Atlanta small businesses greater access to resources to start and grow a business in the city.
The resource centers are centrally located spaces where business owners can access services as well as engage with Invest Atlanta staff and partner business consultants on ways to start or expand their businesses. These centers offer another way for the City of Atlanta to connect its communities to resources available through Invest Atlanta, and will be located in Pittsburgh Yards (352 University Ave SW, Atlanta, GA 30310), Mary Parker Foundation (2800 Campbellton Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30311), the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (504 Fair St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313), Goodwill of North Georgia (2160 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30315), and iVillage @ MLK (2491 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30311).
“It is hard to start a successful small business — I know this, I have done it,” Dickens said. “Even the most ambitious entrepreneurs with big ideas cannot go it alone, which is why the ‘ATL in Business’ program’s business consulting and coaching services helps ensure Atlanta’s entrepreneurs have a partner to help them succeed. Additionally, the opening of these five small business resource centers across Atlanta builds upon our Administration’s commitment to promoting equitable economic mobility and opportunity for all of our residents.”
One of the primary services offered through the ATLinBusiness program is no-cost, one-on-one business consulting and coaching provided through a network of local business experts. These services can help small business owners and entrepreneurs expand their knowledge and capabilities through direct interaction with these business experts.
In-person meetings at the Invest Atlanta small business resources centers or virtual appointments can be arranged by visiting the ATLinBusiness web portal. This dual offering helps to ensure the city is providing convenient options for small business owners and entrepreneurs no matter where they are located. The online portal allows users to search for and connect with consultants to help with their specific business needs.
“Due to institutional barriers, entrepreneurs from disinvested neighborhoods often have limited access to resources needed to start and sustain a successful small business,” Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, said. “This is the first time the City of Atlanta has offered this level of direct professional assistance to help small businesses overcome these challenges, so they have what they need to grow and thrive. In addition to increasing capabilities, the program will help businesses connect with other resources, such as access to capital, through our network.”
Invest Atlanta has partnered with businesses like the Atlanta Black Chambers and Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute to provide the free assistance and coaching available through the ATLinBusiness Program.
To be eligible for services, businesses need a 2022 City of Atlanta business license; nonprofits must have a 2022 City of Atlanta business license or Letter of Good Standing. All organizations must employ fewer than 250 employees as of December 31, 2021, and be able to attest (via affidavit) to having a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To access the ATLinBusiness program, visit www.ATLinBusiness.com or Invest Atlanta at www.investatlanta.com. The ATLInBusiness program is made possible by American Rescue Plan funding from the federal government through a City of Atlanta allocation. The ATLinBusiness portal is powered by Startup Space, a technology-enabled platform for entrepreneurship developed by Economic Impact Catalyst.