GA Chamber hosts Eggs & Issues, Gov. Deal talks new business and rural development

The Georgia Chamber hosted it's Annual Eggs & Issues event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Jan. 10th 2018/ Tavares Jones (WGXA)

ATLANTA, Ga.-- On Thursday, the Georgia Chamber hosted it's Annual Eggs & Issues event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. In attendance were state and local leaders, key lawmakers and sum 2,000 business leaders from across the state.

During the event, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal took to the stage to address several topics on new plans for the state's rural and economic development initiatives, education, employment and plans surrounding the the possibility of Amazon choosing Georgia as the home of it's second national headquarters.

Governor Deal also discussed the allocation of over $25 million in increased funding to the state’s regional airports for improvements and expansions. The improvements are said to impact eleven airports in the state, with nine of the eleven located in rural Georgia including Macon.

Based on the upgrades, the airports will be elevated in their tier rankings as we extend the length of their runways to 5,000 feet or more in order to accommodate corporate aircraft and, ultimately, economic growth.

The nine rural communities directly impacted by this investment will be Burke, Colquitt, Cook, Macon, Morgan, Polk, Seminole, Washington and Wilkes counties. Deal said these upgraded airports will provide rural Georgia with a competitive advantage and a strong boost in their efforts to attract new companies. The other two are Coweta and Newton Counties. These airport improvements will also relieve pressure on Metro Atlanta regional airports that are handling more and more volume due to increased growth.

As for Amazon, Macon is already slated to serve as a home to one of the company's fulfillment centers, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018 and create 500 new jobs annually and nearly 1,000 seasonal jobs.

If Georgia is placed on Amazon's short list of locations, Deal said he would have to call a special legislative session to arrange parts of the incentive package for the company.

If successful, this could mean 50, 000 high paying jobs and a $5 billion investment in the state. It could be months before Amazon makes a decision.

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