Decide DeKalb Hosts ‘Donuts with Dorian’ To Highlight Economic Development Week

The Gresham Park Recreation Center located in southern DeKalb County was the perfect backdrop to Decide DeKalb’s inaugural “Donuts with Dorian” during economic development week in DeKalb. President Dorian DeBarr of Decide DeKalb Development Authority shared a bright overview and update on projects his team is involved with and leading.

Home buyers seeking to find interest rate stability as well as affordability, DeBarr announced the reinstatement of the WE DeKalb Downpayment Assistance program. Established in 2018, WE DeKalb provides a down payment grant of up to 3% to qualified applicants interested in purchasing a home in DeKalb County. The return of this program will prove extremely beneficial to those seeking to make DeKalb home. 

Georgia’s influx of film production has reaped its fair share of success throughout DeKalb County. Over 4 million square feet of production space is available in the county and DeKalb Entertainment Commission, a division of Decide DeKalb, continues to reign as a top location for shooting in the State. While the DEC facilitates the permitting process and provides location scouting assistance for film projects, they are also identifying an inclusive workforce ecosystem for DeKalb residents. DeBarr was eager to share Decide DeKalb’s involvement with Electric Owl Studio and Assembly Atlanta which are both opening this summer and are huge wins for DeKalb. 

The South DeKalb corridor is a hot-button item on his list. The opportunity to increase neighborhood stability, improve workforce vitality, including job readiness and business attraction, are areas he is contemplating and if the idea that an improved economy will benefit all participants is true, DeBarr hopes to be a part of the solution with Decide DeKalb’s recent request for qualifications to produce a redevelopment plan that will be used in the creation of a tax allocation district (TAD), to support the area. 

Decide DeKalb had programs for the business owners looking for funding and information on the importance of workforce development. The Business Resources 101 included speakers from LiftFund and WorkSource DeKalb. Over 75 attendees visited the Stonecrest Library to engage and learn. Companies in attendance included LISC Atlanta, Goodwill of North Georgia, Small Business Development Center, the Latin American Association, and the International Rescue Center. The event was in partnership with the Better Business Bureau.

How can you talk about economic development without mentioning the entertainment industry in Georgia. DeKalb Entertainment Commission hosted a special panel discussion with industry insiders who discussed opportunities for small businesses that would like to be a location for filming or a service provider in DeKalb’s booming film industry. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center was the perfect venue for the event, which was moderated by Asante Bradford, Senior Industry Engagement Manager with Georgia Department of Economic Development.

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