2014 Georgia Manufacturing Survey

Peer-to-Peer Lending to Small Business

April 3, 2013 Forum

Peer-to-peer lending has grown dramatically since the mid 2000s. Accessible through social media, peer-to-peer lending has become a common alternative financial resource for many small businesses. This presentation will discuss the growth of this practice and the types of firms engaged in it. The presentation will raise issues concerning the quality, conditions, and costs associated with these types of peer-to-peer loans.

Press ‘play’ below to watch a video of the forum.

How can efforts to solve community problems lead to the creation of green jobs?

March 6, 2013 Forum


  • Wesley Brooks, Director of Special Projects at The Center for Working Families and Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Coordinator for the City of Atlanta, will share practices from a series of programs and projects that involve workforce training and sustainable development.  Information about how local residents have been trained in remediation of lead based paint, asbestos, and other residential safety hazards and how this training has resulted in new skills, green jobs, and housing rehabilitation will be discussed. Dr. Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Georgia Tech Community Liaison with the Westside Community Alliance, will serve as moderator and discussant.

Press ‘play’ below to watch a video of the forum.

Wesley Brooks – People Power in Economic Development from Mike Parks on Vimeo.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

November 7, 2012 Forum


Alicia RobbAlicia Robb, Kauffman Foundation






Jennifer Bonnett Jen Bonnett, Start-Up Chicks




Press ‘play’ below to watch a video of the forum.

Using Prizes to Encourage Economic Development

October 3, 2012 Forum


Tom Guevara Tom Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Regional Affairs, EDA.






Dr. Eloisa KlementichDr. Eloisa Klementich, Director, Business Development in Atlanta





Moderator: Stephen Fleming, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation, Georgia Institute of Technology

Press ‘play’ below to watch a video of the forum.

Intern’s Investigations and Insights

In early September 2009, four STIP student interns reported results from their summer research projects, which ranged from foreign direct investment and green-building assessment to manufacturing survival factors and waste-to-energy technologies.  The STIP internships, which began in 2005, are designed to provide graduate students a complete research experience from conception to execution to presentation of their results, according to STIP Executive Director Robert Lann.  “Having the students present their results to economic development practitioners, as well as faculty, gives them a sense of what it takes to turn research into something others can make practical use of,” he said.

Jennifer Chirico, a doctoral student in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, compared traditional and advanced technologies for solid waste management and evaluated their potential to reduce waste, generate renewable energy, decrease landfill emissions, and promote sustainable economic development.  Conventional technologies included landfills, recycling, and incineration; more advanced methods encompassed gasification/pyrolysis, landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE), plasma arc gasification, and mechanical/biological treatment.

She noted that solid waste management began as a public health issue, subsequently becoming important, too, in terms of environment, economic development, and public policy.  Her research indicated that Georgia spends $782 million annually managing solid waste, with 91 percent of the waste going to landfills.  The state’s average in pounds per person per day is higher than the national average.  In general, Georgia lags behind in adopting newer technologies, but she noted that DeKalb County has a decade-old LFGTE facility and Toombs County a gasification/pyrolysis operation.  The most established and economical method for decreasing landfill emissions such as methane and generating renewable energy, Chirico said, is LFGTE, but the most sustainable and practical solution may be a combination of recycling, composting, and advanced technologies.

Her recommendations for Georgia included: (1) state incentives for renewable energy, (2) funding assistance for advanced technologies, (3) policies that focus on waste reduction, and (4) assistance with regulations and permits.

Another doctoral student in the School of Public Policy, Stephen Carley, investigated what aspects most influence a company’s survival during today’s manufacturing decline, with the idea that this knowledge could contribute to suitable strategies for rectifying the problem.  Using Georgia Tech’s 2005 Georgia Manufacturing Survey, he focused on the state’s traditional industries—food, textiles, and pulp and paper, which contribute half the state’s gross domestic product in manufacturing.

Via a survival regression model, he found that the variable appearing most prominently and exerting the strongest influence on survival was per capita research and development spending, which 43 states have as a higher priority than does Georgia.  Intellectual property, such as patent applications and published articles, also appeared significant to continuing operations.  Overall, companies engaging in innovation had much greater odds of survival than those that did not.

Given the prominence of R&D, Carley offered several recommendations, largely conducive to creating a favorable environment for R&D–among them: (1) financial incentives, such as restructuring the R&D tax credit; (2) recruiting R&D companies that could further develop Georgia’s R&D infrastructure; and (3) better identification of research carrying financial risk but scientific promise.

Rahul Jain, working on a dual master’s degree in city and regional planning and public policy, explored the adoption of green-building technologies in metro Atlanta and began development of Georgia’s first green-building database.

More than 38 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions are associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the built environment.  Green-building growth, he added, has resulted from demand for the cost efficiency and productivity that green features generate, as in areas of lighting, HVAC, water usage, and low emissions.  Indeed, governments and businesses both recognize the health and economic benefits of “going green,” he said.

His surveys, interviews, and data analysis identified location of green buildings and determined the features they contain.  Development of the green database reflects innovation on Georgia’s part and can help educate designers/builders.  It also will help attract buyers seeking green attributes, and green can be a tiebreaker in site location, according to Jain.  Recommendations covered diverse aspects.  One, create a stakeholder task force comprising engineers and architects.  Two, tap into American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to retrofit Georgia buildings.  Three, devise policies and incentives, such as ordinances and tax credits, to promote green features in the built environment.

A master’s student in Georgia Tech’s School of Economics, Shanshan Zou investigated foreign direct investment (FDI) in Georgia, including impact, trends, and opportunities.  Her research suggests that Georgia has comparative advantages in information and high-tech industries and that some rapidly emerging economies have strong ties here, which could create further possibilities for growth.

FDI in the United States, which creates jobs, increases exports, and incurs new research, totaled $2.3 million in 2008, with 71 percent coming from Europe, she noted.  Georgia ranks 11th nationally in employment (173,600) related to FDI and 18th in terms of capital value ($23.3 billion), close behind neighboring North Carolina.  The three developing economies with the greatest FDI potential for Georgia, she said, are China, Mexico, and India, all of which already have manufacturing and sales operations here.

She recommended that in addition to targeting high-tech industries and strengthening ties with growth leaders in developing countries that Georgia increase international awareness of the state’s FDI potential and focus on activities with the strongest potential for spillovers.

The intern selection committee comprised Dr. Cathryn Mitchell of Southeastern Technical College, Greg Torre of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Pat Sims from Georgia Power Company.  They picked the four interns from 19 applicants.?

Issues in Science and Technology in China

Yu-Wing-YinYu Wing-Yin, University of Macau. April 11, 2005.

Cultural Diversity and Economic Development: The International Village Project

W-Chris-Lazar2Chris Lazar. April 8, 2005 (Chamblee). [International Village]

Making Markets Work for the Poor

Oliver-Monica2Monica Oliver, CARE. March 15, 2005.

Science and Technology-Based Economic Development: A Georgia Perspective

cassidy-mike2Mike Cassidy – President, Georgia Research Alliance. February 11, 2005.