Georgia: Filling the Gaps

Gap-AnalysisAfter a weekend of football, and Miss Georgia taking the crown for Miss America, it would be my guess folks around the nation are wondering what other successes and accolades may come from the peach state?  For me, I hope our future is found in growing business and a more developed economy, with meaningful employment for Georgians.  Yet, I cannot help but notice there are some noticeable gaps still linger.  These gaps are not ones that cannot be reconciled, but ones that must be addressed before Georgia is going to be placed on another tier in the marketplace.  Many Georgians speak lovingly of farm life, and of agriculturally based, small town economies.  Yet, if there is one thing I know of growing up on a farm in a small town, I know that you are always busy- there is compelling work to be done for maintenance, repair, and to keep the farm moving forward.

So what might Georgia do next?

  1. Create a better WiFi system across the state and eliminate the Territorial Act.

For as many local providers of internet, cable, and phone services, it never ceases to AMAZE me how we cannot seem to move forward on the web spectrum.  You want local, small businesses to thrive?  Encourage local sales and put them on the Internet.  Don’t believe me?  Ask any woman with an Etsy shop how much she LOVES her internet sales.

  1. Have an easy and streamlined process for business licensing and registry within the Secretary of State.

If any civic organization can create an online application process with a few check boxes and render a decision within a few weeks, the SoS’s office should equally be able to do this for business license applications and renewals.  Economies of scale are a great thing and impeding any means of conducting business is something Georgia should sincerely question.

  1. Stop fearing failure/ reproach.

If there is one thing I cannot STAND at the General Assembly, it is legislators who fear reproach and failing.  It is part of life, and a necessary ingredient of success.  Learn from it, and make the policy better the next time.  Stop sitting on one’s hands waiting for the problem to resolve itself.

  1. Create best practices.

Georgia set the standard a few years ago on rules for crowdfunding BEFORE federal rules were set.  We are leading the way in private crowdfunding of real estate investments. Ask Vincent Russo and Knox Massey about it- they’ll be happy to talk about how proud they are of Georgia and how much further we could go if we would think a bit bigger.  We have a dynamic healthcare IT community that could be pioneering how to effectively address rural healthcare and cut costs.  Instead, Georgia’s letting Texas take the lead.

I am proud of my state and my people.  Yet we have a duty to ourselves to question how we may improve.  Without doing so, Georgia remains on the cycle of rinse and repeat.  That cycle did not get Betty Cantrell a crown, nor was it employed by UGA, Georgia Tech, nor Georgia Southern this weekend.  We can do better.  Now let’s get to it.

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