• NuLink Early Bird Forum


     

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  • January 24- Dr. Joey Smith to speak of Coweta's economy 

  • Join us for the first NuLink Early Bird Forum of 2017 on Tuesday, January 24th! The State of Coweta's Economy is January's topic. Dr. Joey Smith, chairman of the University of West Georgia's Economics Department will share a brief analysis of the state of our economy, a forecast of economic growth and employment and issues facing our community. Cost is $20 for chamber members and $50 for general admission. 

    Click here to register

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    William J. "Joey" Smith is an associate professor of economics, the David A. Johnson Distinguished Scholar, and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of West Georgia. Joey provides information on the regional economy at the annual UWG Fall Forecasting Breakfast, through the Quarterly Updates published through the Center for Business and Economic Research, and speaking engagements and interviews. His primary areas of expertise are program participation, state and local taxation, and urban and regional economics focusing on the West Georgia Region. Joey has provided expert and technical research for large energy providers, the Georgia State Legislature and for private businesses.

    Formerly, Joey worked as a Senior Research Associate for the Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University. While working at the FRC, Joey specialized in county growth patterns of the Atlanta Metro Area, Georgia tax policies, and welfare reform.

  • Economic impact of Georgia's film industry is topic at

    NuLink Early Bird Forum on October 25

    Thanks in part to TV hits like "The Walking Dead," most Georgians realize the state has a thriving entertainment business. But most have no idea of the industry's impact on the state's economy.

     

    Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner, Film, Music & Digital Entertainment for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, explained the story behind the glitz and glamour to a packed house attending the October 25, 2016 NuLink Early Bird Forum at The Newnan Centre.

     

    Thomas said the most current economic statistics show that the film industry spent $623 million last year with local Georgia businesses. Film production costs include everything from catering meals to actors and crew to renting property, the payrolls of local film technicians and actors, and even materials such as duct tape and lumber for set construction.

     

    Thomas said that one movie in the "Fast & Furious" film series produced in Georgia resulted in the booking of over 204,000 motel room nights plus facility and equipment rentals.

     

    She explained that because tax incentives and a film-friendly atmosphere have made Georgia such a desirable location for film production, new infrastructure supporting the industry - ranging from banking to sound stage development to pre and post-production facilities - is being built at a rapid clip.

     

    In neighboring Fayette County, Pinewood Studios has built and opened the largest sound stage in the U.S. outside New York and Los Angeles. More facilities at Pinewood and in other towns are already under construction. Thomas says her department believes the trend will continue as long as Georgia keeps incentives flowing to the film industry. Last year, the film industry provided 79,000 Georgia jobs, with an average salary of $84,000.

     

    Thomas spoke of the impact the industry can have on a specific location, showing pictures of downtown Senoia before and after AMC began producing "The Walking Dead" in Senoia and nearby locations.

     

    Georgia is now third in the nation in film production, behind Los Angeles and New York. Thomas said the ranking is due in large part to the state's tax incentive program for film and TV production. She pointed out that in recent years, Louisiana was a hot production hub, but she said the state's film incentives were largely linked to revenues from the state's oil industry. When oil prices fell, funds for film incentives dropped, and filmmakers and TV producers went elsewhere - including Georgia.

     

    Thomas credited former Georgia State Senator Mitch Seabaugh of Coweta County and Scott Tigchelaar, of Raleigh Studios, with creating and promoting the incentive package that keeps Georgia's film industry viable and growing.

     

    After Thomas's remarks, NuLink's Lana Mobley introduced two students who started their education in the film industry while still students at Central Educational Center. Both continued their studies after leaving CEC and are finding success in their chosen profession.

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