Atlanta creates advisory council to grow small businesses

The city of Atlanta is creating a small business advisory council help grow small businesses and entrepreneurs and create more living wage jobs. (AJC file photo)

The city of Atlanta is creating a small business advisory council to help develop small businesses and create more jobs.

The advisory council, which was approved at Atlanta City Council's meeting Monday, would be comprised of business and financial professionals that will provide the City Council with policy recommendations to sustain the small businesses already in the city and address the issue of income inequality, according to the legislation.

The council would also work to support entrepreneurs and to ensure small businesses offer a “living wage” to employees, meaning their pay is enough to meet their basic needs.

In 2018, a Bloomberg analysis ranked Atlanta No. 1 for income inequality among major U.S. cities, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The calculation was based on U.S. Census Bureau calculations and the distribution of household income. Income inequality is the extreme disparity of income distribution among populations.

The advisory council could also help increase the number of small businesses and jobs in the city. Small businesses created 1.5 million jobs in 2015, according to the United States Small Business Association.

The advisory council will consist of seven members appointed by Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms, City Council President Felicia Moore, council members, the city’s economic development agency Invest Atlanta, and the Atlanta Business League.

The small business advisory council is the latest in the city's efforts to help small businesses. In November, the City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Invest Atlanta, the city's development agency, to create a loan program for small and micro-businesses.

The agreement is for three years and will be funded with $500,000.

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