Wednesday, March 25, 2009

State Launches Ground-Breaking Economic Development Platform for Creative Industry

Georgia’s creative businesses and their products available on

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Tourism Foundation announced the launch of, a detailed creative industries database that is the first-ever statewide economic development strategy of its kind. It is the best way to search for Georgia’s arts-centric businesses: from handmade jewelry to local festivals, pick-your-own farms to performers. This growing directory will connect buyers and sellers, corporations and corporate suppliers, locals and visitors to Georgia's cultural assets and creative small businesses.

“Georgia is rich in authentic local products and unique experiences,” states Gilda Watters, Managing Director of the Tourism Foundation. “We wanted to make it easier for residents, visitors and businesses to access local artisans, producers and performers.”

Started in 2007 by the Georgia Tourism Foundation, the state’s Creative Economies Initiative is a unique effort to galvanize arts-centric businesses and promote products made and grown in the state, and is one part of this important initiative. Creative businesses in Georgia give back tremendously to the community, employ more than 88,000 individuals and add millions of dollars to their local economies. By helping to focus state, regional, national and international attention on the rich cultural contributions and unique sense of place creative businesses contribute to the state, this initiative will positively impact their economic sustainability and future growth by helping to connect buyers and sellers, corporations and corporate suppliers, locals and visitors to Georgia’s creative small businesses. As a web registry with a searchable database of the state’s arts-centric industries, complete with business profiles, locations, pictures, contact information and more, it is economic development in its purest form.

Listings on the website are free, so artists, producers and retailers selling authentic Georgia Made Georgia Grown products and productions are eligible to be part of this marketing tool. It is not too late to sign up; simply visit to register. Encourage your local artisans, entertainers, festival planners and theaters to join: not only will it make your searches easier, but it will help them gain exposure and form useful partnerships.

With the website now up and running, there has never been a better time to explore all that Georgia has to offer. Visit today and find a unique treasure or authentic experience to enjoy. Georgia’s Visitors Information Centers, Regional Travel Associations and are excellent resources and can offer assistance in planning your visit to Georgia.

The Georgia Tourism Foundation allows for the creation of new public-private partnerships that merge and strengthen Georgia's tourism marketing efforts, in order to attract more visitors and increase the industry's economic impact throughout the state. This non-profit, public-private organization brings together the leadership of the state’s premier tourism destinations to consolidate marketing efforts, pool resources and more effectively promote Georgia’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich attractions to vacationers.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, video and music projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
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