Georgia Department of Economic Development
|Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)|
|Jurisdiction||Georgia (United States)|
|Headquarters||75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Atlanta, Georgia|
|Agency executive||Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner|
|Parent Agency||State of Georgia|
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is a department of the State of Georgia (United States). It serves as the state's sales and marketing arm and 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, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
Originally named the Georgia Department of Commerce, the agency was established by law in 1949. Governor Herman Talmadge appointed the first five-member board under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated sections 50-7-1 through 50-7-41. George C. Gaines served as the first commissioner.
As chief marketing officer for the state of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner leads efforts to recruit new businesses and expand existing ones; grow the state’s tourism, international trade and entertainment industries; and support the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The current Commissioner is Chris Cummiskey who was appointed to his post by Governor Nathan Deal, assuming this role on January 2011. Commissioner Cummiskey brings to the agency a wealth of knowledge and intergovernmental relationships developed during his more recent roles as a senior director for Senator Johnny Isakson, former Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, and the University of Georgia. As State Director for Sen. Isakson, he was the point of contact for all matters relating to Georgia’s economic development-related projects. Commissioner Cummiskey’s most recent role as Director of State Relations for the University of Georgia also entailed an intimate knowledge of economic development in Georgia. 
Key Services 
- Encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses
- Developing new domestic and international markets
- Recruiting new business to locate in the state
- Attracting tourists to Georgia
- Promoting the state as a location for film, video, music and digital entertainment projects
- Planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development
Agency Organization 
The Georgia Department of Economic Development is divided into three distinct divisions: Global Commerce; Tourism; and Film, Music & Digital Entertainment. Together, the three divisions helped bring more than 19,600 jobs to Georgia in fiscal year 2010 (FY2010). 
In July 2011 three institutions were moved under GDEcD’s operational umbrella: the Georgia Council for the Arts, the Georgia Research Alliance and the Georgia Cancer Coalition.
Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) was established in 1965 as the Georgia Commission on the Arts with a mission to encourage excellence in the arts, support the arts and make the arts available to all Georgians by providing funding, leadership, programming and other services. Funding for the GCA is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts and other private and public sources. 
The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), a nonprofit corporation founded in 1990, is a public/private partnership of the state’s research universities, leading corporations and state government. The GRA is enlarging the scope of its economic development role, utilizing the state’s university resources for the business community in order to grow jobs and investment in the state. GRA will work in coordination with GDEcD to integrate the Georgia Centers of Innovation (COI) program with its existing programs. The Georgia Cancer Coalition will also become a part of the Georgia Research Alliance, in order to strengthen connections with university cancer programs and ultimately make Georgia one of the nation’s top states for cancer care. 
Global Commerce Division 
The Georgia Department of Economic Development Global Commerce Division assists businesses with an interest in growing or locating in the state by coordinating a variety of services that include site location, employee training, market research and export assistance and consultation.
Entrepreneur & Small Business 
With 97% of all Georgia businesses classified as small businesses, GDEcD supports this sector through several approaches such as direct company relationships, resource awareness, B-2-B opportunities and local-level business development.
International Business 
The Georgia Department of Economic Development Global Commerce Division works closely with companies in Georgia that are looking for global markets and with international firms looking to either locate to the United States or secure American business partners.
GDEcD operates 10 offices internationally in Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Israel and the United Kingdom.
Centers of Innovation 
The Centers of Innovation (COI) is a program designed to accelerate the growth of technology-based companies.
The COI program is composed of six centers: agribusiness, aerospace, energy, life sciences, logistics and manufacturing. Located in Atlanta, Augusta, Gainesville, Savannah, Tifton and Eastman, each center provides statewide strategic industry expertise by being a complete source of information.
Tangible services include access to university-level research and development, product commercialization, industry-specific business counsel, matching research grants for qualified companies, networking opportunities and connecting clients to potential investor networks.
Georgia Allies 
Formed in 1997 as a partnership between state government and private corporations, Georgia Allies builds on the individual initiatives of its members to create larger, more targeted programs that aggressively promote the state’s business development efforts. This unique public-private partnership allows the state to pool resources to increase economic development success in both new business recruitment and existing industry retention.
Tourism Division 
The Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division helps individual visitors and groups discover Georgia's vacation options and helps them to plan their stay. Through its network of regional and international representatives, it also assists the state's communities and attractions in drawing potential travelers to their areas.
The state’s tourism industry employs more than 234,100 people creating a total economic impact of more than $32 billion annually.
Specific Services 
- Promote Georgia as a premier travel destination
- Providing of advice on research, public relations, group tour sales, advertising, product development and other tourism industry related topics
- Development of the state's consumer tourism website, www.ExploreGeorgia.org
- Responsible for the state’s official Travel Guide, Georgia Golf Guide, Calendar of Events, Kids Guide and African American Heritage Guide
- Operation of international offices, building relationships with outbound tour operators, generating media coverage and producing international travel guides
- Promotion of tourism assets to the 13 million annual visitors traveling through the state’s 11 Visitor Information Centers
Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division 
Formed in 1973, the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office develops and promotes the state's feature film, television, commercial, music video, recorded music and digital media industries.
Statewide resources and infrastructure information along with an extensive location library provide every assistance for production companies both inside and outside Georgia. The office coordinates and supports the filming needs of companies with other state agencies and local governments.
In FY2009, a $590 million total investment was placed into the Georgia entertainment industry creating a $1.1 billion economic impact, a 400% increase over the previous fiscal year.
Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act 
On May 12, 2008, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, increasing the state tax credit for qualified production and post-production expenditures by as much as 30%. It is available to both traditional motion picture projects such as feature films, television series, commercials and music videos, as well as new industries such as game development and animation.
Film and television 
During FY2009, GDEcD led more than 100 feature films and television series, movies, specials, pilots and episodes produced in Georgia, ranking the state number one in the Southeast and among the top five states in the nation for film and TV productions.
Throughout the years, the Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division has helped secure Georgia as the location of choice for over 700 film and television productions.
Some of the most notable films shot in Georgia include:
The GDEcD Film, Music & Entertainment Division oversees statewide efforts in Georgia' music industry. In the past 20 years, with the division's guidance, Georgia has experienced unprecedented growth in the number of music recording establishments, record labels and other professional services connected with the commercial music industry.
The current estimated economic impact of the music industry in Georgia is approaching $2 billion dollars annually. The industry is responsible for creating 9,500 jobs and generating $54.3 million in tax revenues.
GDEcD is responsible for development of the Georgia Music Production Sourcebook, an annual guide providing a state directory of music resources.
Major recording artists and producers with Georgia ties:
- Alan Jackson
- Allman Brothers
- Elton John
- James Brown
- Otis Redding
- Ray Charles
- Zac Brown Band
- Indigo Girls
- Lady Antebellum
- Young Jeezy
- Jermaine Dupri
- Jessye Norman
- Toni Braxton
- Bow Wow
- Collective Soul
Digital Entertainment 
The Music & Entertainment Digital Entertainment branch houses emerging media industries such as game development, animation and interactive entertainment.
Currently, more than 60 video game businesses operate in the state. Georgia’s video game workforce is estimated at over 1,600 workers, and 15 of the state’s colleges and universities offer video game development courses or curriculums, including some graduate degree programs.
Among the projects that GDEcD has assisted:
- CCP, a video game company based in Iceland, which expanded its Stone Mountain operations and announced plans to hire 200 additional workers beginning in 2010.
- Electronic Arts, the nation’s largest video game publisher, which operates an R&D lab in Savannah and has recently launched EA-Atlanta to provide a back-end digital distribution portal
- French video game company Metaboli, which purchased Turner Studios’ GameTap franchise and set up in Atlanta
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