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 Baby's Dream Furniture

In December 2012 the River Valley Regional Commission made a $200,000 loan to Baby's Dream Furniture in Buena Vista (Marion County).  This family owned company has been in Buena Vista for many years but was facing inventory control issues. Following up with the company 18 months after the loan, staff found them doing well. Excess inventory has been sold and management is controlling inventory much tighter.  The company has introduced several new product lines including Nottingham and Dana and has expanded the Heritage line with two new cribs.  All of these products have the trademark convertible crib/changing table.  Baby's Dream Furniture products are sold in more than 100 stores around the country.  Employment has remained steady between 40-50 employees.  While sales fluctuate during the year, overall they have remained steady.  The RVRC looks forward to working with Baby's Dream Furniture for many years to come.

 

D & J Plastics

D & J Plastics, a plastic fishing lure manufacturer, was started in 1998 in Quitman County by Dennis and Joyce Montgomery.  The company has grown from two employees to more than 83 full-time employees and 35 contract employees. DJPlasticsCustomers including Walmart and Cabela’s, as well as international clients, are clamoring for the fishing lures produced in Quitman County, Georgia. In 2014, D & J Plastics needed additional warehouse space in order to accommodate its new product lines and satisfy its customers’ demands.  A variety of resources were brought to the table to assist the company with its expansion.  The Montgomerys worked with their local bank to provide construction financing.  The River Valley Regional Commission Revolving Loan Fund provided a $200,000 low-interest loan.  The final missing piece was funded by the OneGeorgia Authority, which approved a low-interest $160,000 loan. This project will add 10-15 jobs within the first two years and attract $65,000 in private investment. The River Valley Regional Commission is proud of the accomplishments of D & J Plastics and is pleased to be able to play a small part in their success.


Innovative Senior Solutions

Innovative Senior Solutions has continued to grow and expand its services since receiving a revolving loan from the River Valley Regional Commission in 2004.

Innovative Senior Solutions (ISS) provides home and community services for seniors who are at risk of being placed in a nursing facility and for individuals who have a permanent or temporary medical disability due to an acute or chronic illness. The staff provides personal care and sitter services, respite care, skilled nursing, and adult day health.ISSsisters

Sisters Eshonda Blue (CEO) and Jessica Wright (COO) launched their business with a desk, phone, filing cabinet, and copy machine in the incubator center at South Georgia Technical College. In 2004 ISS received a revolving loan to open an adult day health center in Cordele. Now they have centers in Americus and Cordele that provide a safe and active environment for seniors or individuals with a developmental or medical disability who require assistance during the day. ISS offers transportation to and from the centers.

ISS has grown from two employees to a staff of 40 full-time workers and an additional 35 part-time workers, and they now cover 19 counties. In 2013, ISS opened a personal care home as an alternative for people requiring 24-hour care. In 2014 they remodeled a storefront on Lamar Street in Americus to house their administrative offices.

The ISS staff participates in community activities such as health fairs, Relay for Life, caregiver support group, the annual senior fall festival in Americus, and the Caring for Seniors Foundation.

In 2011 Eshonda and Jessica were awarded the “Excellence in Business” award from the Rho Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. In February 2012, the Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce awarded ISS “Small Business of the Year.”

The RVRC is proud to have been part of the Innovative Senior Solutions success story and looks forward to seeing them grow even more.

Economic Development

The Economic Development Department serves local governments, development authorities, chambers of commerce and local businesses with the goal of increasing the tax base, creating/retaining jobs and improving the bottom line for business owners.  This is accomplished in a variety of ways.  The three main areas of service include the following: 

  • Revolving Loan Funds which are available to local businesses at a below market rate,

  • development and administration of grants to local governments and development authorities to improve the infrastructure necessary for a business to successfully operate, and

  • completion of the Annual Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. 

Click on the drop-down buttons under Economic Development for more information on each service.

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.at 877-819-6348.

 

*CEDS Update*

 

 The River Valley Regional Commission has updated our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that covers 16 counties in West-Central Georgia. A comprehensive survey was used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the region and existing local economic development plans (Columbus 2025, One Sumter, Grow Randolph, etc.) were also used as a part of the process to generate a new River Valley CEDS. To see the new CEDS document, click CEDS  


Project Development Assistance

Staff is available to assist any local government, authority, or business in the development of a project. This includes providing assistance in finding state or federal resources such as tax credits, export/import assistance and other resources. Grant applications are also developed and administered which provide necessary infrastructure such as water, sewer, roads, rail, air, broadband or natural gas. These grants are made to local governments and/or development authorities by either state or federal agencies. The purpose of the grants is to provide exactly what the business needs to create and/or retain jobs as well as making private investment into the project. The end result is an increase in the tax base, creation/retention of jobs, and a business whose bottom line has improved. 

 

Assistance is also available to entrepreneurs seeking to start a business. This includes referrals to the local Small Business Development Center, reviewing business plans, and assisting in finding funding for their start-up.

 

Tourism is an important part of economic development in this region. Staff will provide assistance to existing and start-up tourism assets such as hotels, museums, restaurants, etc. as well as local convention and visitor’s bureaus and chambers of commerce. 

 

The River Valley Regional Commission provides staffing assistance to the Georgia Highway 27 Association which includes 18 counties in Georgia from the Tennessee state line to the Florida state line.  This association has developed a tourism strategy that will draw tourists off of the highway and into their local attractions. 

 

For assistance in developing your project, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.at 877 819-6348.


Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

The River Valley Regional Commission was designated by the Economic Development Administration in 1968 as the Economic Development District for the region. As part of that designation, the agency is required to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) every five years with annual updates. 

 

The CEDS provides information on demographics such as unemployment, population, per capita income, and economic impact of tourism. The region is assessed using this information on a county by county basis. Based on this assessment, regional goals and objectives are identified to improve these demographics. 

 

 

2018 - 2023 CEDS UPDATE

A comprehensive survey was used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the region and existing local economic development plans (Columbus 2025, One Sumter, Grow Randolph, etc.) were also used as a part of the process to generate a new River Valley CEDS.

 

Goals and Objectives - 

Goals:

1.     Develop People Resources in the Region

2.     Sustain and Improve the Land Assets of the Region

 

 

Objectives:

·       Provide quality, genuine places and experiences for visitors

·       Assist the Workforce of the region in gaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for regional jobs in the 21st Century

·       Support the Recruitment, Retention and Expansion of Businesses in the region

·       Help the region sustain and improve the Quality of Life

·       Foster Community Leadership

·       Support Agriculture

·       Improve Infrastructure

·       Support Main Street and Downtown Improvements

·       Improve Housing Stock

·       Maintain Environmental Integrity in the Region

 

To see the new CEDS document, click CEDS 

 

 

The following documents were used to inform the CEDS rewrite and were all reviewed by the CEDS Committee.

 

 

For comments and questions, contact Jim Livingston at 877-819-6348 or
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Revolving Loan Fund

Any business interested in receiving a below market interest rate loan must first complete a loan application and a business plan.  Credit analysis is completed on every loan application.  While the River Valley Regional Commission’s credit requirements are not as stringent as a bank’s, potential borrowers must indicate an ability to pay back the loan and provide adequate collateral.  Each applicant is encouraged to include his/her local bank in this process.  The River Valley Regional Commission does not intend to compete with private banks for loan customers.  It is our intention to make a loan application more attractive for a local bank by providing gap funds. 


About the Revolving Loan Fund (e-Brochure)


Area Success Stories


Click here to download a Revolving Loan Fund Application

 

Small Business Development Center's "Mastering Business Loan Proposals" 


Click here for information about Georgia Small Business Lender Program

 

For more information on the Revolving Loan Fund program, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.at 877 819-6348.

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