Small business is considered the backbone of the American economy. The University of Georgia’s Flavor of Georgia program coordinated through the College of Agriculture’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development offers small businesses wider public exposure for their locally produced barbecue sauces, jellies, preserves, cheeses, and meats. The program helps small agricultural producers get their products evaluated by food science professionals and marketers. During a statewide competition, entrants’ products are evaluated by people from around the state including the governor at a final judging event held in Atlanta each year. This allows small businesses the chance for increased business connections, networking, and to obtain public feedback on their Georgia products. Seventy-seven percent of the 2013 Flavor of Georgia finalists reported increased interest in their products while 86% reported more business contacts according to survey results. Forty-five percent of the finalists reported an increase in sales while 27% reported an increase in profits. Moreover, 5% of the firms indicate that due to the program, they have an increase in employees. Clearly, the Flavor of Georgia has an economic impact primarily in rural Georgia.


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