Despite export headwinds including a stronger U.S. dollar, two dozen mostly small Georgia companies found ways to enter 129 new countries with their products and services in 2016, earning accolades from the state’s economic development department.
Gov. Nathan Deal, called Georgia’s “economic developer in chief” at a reception announcing this year’s GLOBE award winners, thanked the companies for their contribution to the state’s competitiveness, drawing a direct line between international trade and the foreign investment that has created tens of thousands of jobs in the state.
He said on the day of the event, he’d met with two foreign prospects that could soon contribute to the more than 3,000 international facilities around the state. He also pointed to the consular corps as a source of vibrancy for the state’s economy.
“These are strong components of what makes our state the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business. It is not just all domestic; it is a combination of foreign and domestic activity,” Mr. Deal said.
The announcement of the GLOBE winners (Georgians Leveraging Opportunities by Exporting) coincided with a visit by all of the state’s representatives tasked with recruiting investment and boosting Georgia exports in 11 countries.
Most of the state’s exports went to these countries (in which are included the 29 members of the European Union, which is covered from Georgia’s Munich office), and 95 percent of Georgia counties were home to exporting companies.
Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, praised these representatives, who were in Atlanta for business meetings, then went to Gainesville to see the Georgia Poultry Laboratory and to learn more about investment in Hall County.
The event also dovetailed well with Georgia Small Business Month, especially given that 75 percent of the winning companies had fewer than 100 employees.
That mostly mirrors statewide trends: Of the more than 14,500 firms within Georgia selling overseas, nearly 90 percent have fewer than 500 employees, according to the governor.
The winners run the gamut from physical goods like spare airplane parts (Aventure Aviation), peanut products (Bell Plantation Inc.), rum (Richland Rum), chemicals (Seydel Cos. and SASCO) and ammunition (Polycase), to services like advertising (Global Atlanta), baggage tracking (Quantum), environmental remediation (EcoLink and MuniRem) and machine maintenance (CentricsIT).
Georgia’s export value declined for the second straight year, but the $35.5 billion in value still supported 200,000 jobs in the state, Mr. Deal said.
The state also unveiled an interactive trade map that shows top export partners with slide-outs that display the value of exports to that market, the top five product categories and ways to contact trade specialists that can help with market entry.
The full list 2017 GLOBE Award winners are:
· AMK9 – West Point
· American Panel Corp. – Alpharetta
· Aventure Aviation – Peachtree City
· Bell Plantation, Inc. – Tifton
· CentricsIT – Norcross
· Crider Foods – Stillmore
· Ecolink Inc. – Tucker
· GF Health Products, Inc. – Atlanta
· Global Atlanta – Atlanta
· Heat Technologies Inc. – Atlanta
· Hydro Dynamics, Inc. – Rome
· Innovative Supplies Worldwide, Inc. – Columbus
· Interactive Communications International Inc. – Atlanta
· MuniRem Environmental LLC – Duluth
· One World Inc. – Tucker
· OptiLedge LLC – Newnan
· PolyCase Ammunition LLC – Savannah
· Quantum Aviation Solutions – Athens
· Richland Rum – Richland
· SASCO Chemical Group, Inc. – Albany
· Savannah Bee Company – Savannah
· The Seydel Companies – Pendergrass
· Vayando – Atlanta
· Zcorum – Alpharetta