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Georgia Celebrates State’s Five ‘Small Business ROCK STARS’ During Small Business Week 2023

May 1, 2023
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)

ATLANTA – May 1, 2023 —The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced its five 2023 Small Business ROCK STARS as part of the state’s celebration of Georgia Small Business Week 2023, recognized May 1-6. A small businessman himself, Governor Brian P. Kemp issued a proclamation highlighting the importance of small businesses in the state, available here.

“Small businesses form the foundations of Georgia’s economy, representing 99 percent of all businesses in Georgia,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “These five companies demonstrate the diverse industries that call the Peach State home, and we are honored to recognize their contributions to their communities and this state. Congratulations to this year’s Small Business ROCK STARS!”

The state’s Small Business ROCK STARS will be featured on GDEcD’s Small Business Facebook and Twitter platforms throughout Georgia Small Business Week and highlighted by the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA).

The 2023 Small Business ROCK STARS, in order of spotlight date, are:

Region 12: Benedetto Guitars – Savannah (Chatham County) – Monday, May 1
Region 1: Ellijay Mushrooms – Ellijay (Gilmer County) – Tuesday, May 2
Region 4: Crescent Kayaks – Carrollton (Carroll County) – Wednesday, May 3
Region 3: Shear Structural – Chamblee (DeKalb County) – Thursday, May 4
Region 8: White Oak Pastures – Bluffton (Clay County) – Friday, May 5

“From providing niche services to exporting in markets across the world, Georgia’s small businesses have an oversized positive impact in their communities,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Through an impressive 4,000 nominations, we have had the privilege of recognizing 50 Small Business ROCK STARS since the program’s inception. We’re excited to congratulate these special businesses as they are named ROCK STARS in Georgia!”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Small Business team, along with the Georgia Economic Developers Association, created the Small Business ROCK STAR awards as a way to salute the risks, innovations, outreach, and impact of the state’s small businesses. Each of this year’s winners have fewer than 300 full-time employees, are involved in charitable programs in their communities, and were founded in the State of Georgia.

“Economic development is more than just attracting big industrial companies – it is about helping to improve the quality of life for future generations. That work starts at the community level by supporting small and medium-sized local businesses through initiatives like main street and downtown development, investing in existing and new infrastructure, and improving the standard of living for residents,” said GEDA President and CEO Grant Cagle. “In return, these local companies reflect the diverse interests and opportunities that make each Georgia community unique. This year’s winners represent a variety of industries and regions across the state, and we look forward to continuing to support these businesses and others like them!”

Interested in nominating a local small business? Nominations for the 2024 Small Business ROCK STARS will be open from May 8 through October 30, 2023. For additional information about Georgia’s Small Business ROCK STAR awards, visit

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for arts, film, and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. To assist small businesses, resources can be found on GDEcD’s website at For additional information, visit

About GEDA

The Georgia Economic Developers Association is a nonprofit association of professionals, volunteers, and supporters. The association provides networking and professional development opportunities for its members and supports public policies that promote quality job creation and sustainable economic development throughout the state. For more information, visit


Marie Gordon - Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Jessica Atwell - Communications Specialist
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Read original press release here.

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Call: (478) 825-3826 or peachcountydevelopment@ymail.com425 James E. Khoury DriveUnit BFort Valley, Georgia 31030