Barrow County certified as entrepreneur friendly area

WINDER - Barrow County recently became the 44th community in Georgia to be certified as an "Entrepreneur Friendly" area.

Of the county's 1,595 companies, 92 percent have fewer than 20 employees.

Qualified entrepreneurs and small business owners in Barrow are now eligible for customized market data, such as demographic and business information, that can help grow their business.

Barrow earned the designation by completing a program with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The program analyzed the current entrepreneurial and small business development environment in Barrow and strategized options for fostering future entrepreneurial endeavors.

Tommy Jennings, president of the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce, said earning the "Entrepreneurial Friendly" designation was an opportunity to invest in local businesses.

"The process opened our eyes to small business and entrepreneurs' concerns, and areas in which the Chamber can be of more assistance to them," he said.

Several years ago the Georgia Department of Economic Development saw the need to encourage small business developments and began its "Entrepreneur Friendly" initiative in August of 2004.

"Homegrown businesses and entrepreneurs create quality jobs that are integral to ensuring prosperity and opportunity throughout Georgia," said Governor Sonny Perdue in a press release. "By encouraging and supporting small businesses, we are investing in a stronger future for local communities and the state as a whole."

Gwinnett County was named an "Entrepreneur Friendly" county in December of 2005.