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Business coalition to revive network with event
by Noreen Cochran
July 10, 2013 05:07 PM | 840 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The South Fulton Business Coalition is hosting its inaugural “mega-network event” Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Oz Pizza, 5 Broad St. in Fairburn.

Founder Dominique Huff said he started the coalition in November to be a forum for business owners and entrepreneurs to be heard concerning political and social issues.

“I was working with the now defunct Tri-Cities Business Exchange and South Fulton Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “I saw that our business community needed organization, advocacy and unity. When we say ‘south Fulton,’ we mean all of south Fulton.”

According to Huff, the purpose of the coalition is to:

 Provide forums for business owners and entrepreneurs in south Fulton to be heard concerning political and social issues

 Develop exposure opportunities to keep the local business community in front of the homeowners, apartment residents, employees and visitors of south Fulton

 Provide networking, connections and referral opportunities through partner organizations

 Develop alliances between other organizations, jurisdictions and beyond for the benefit and enhancement of the south Fulton business community.

“As of right now, we have 10 participating businesses,” Huff said. “We are developing a membership packet that will feature perks and benefits based on the size and need of the business. All of our officers are business owners and we have several people who have shown the coalition love by offering meeting space and marketing support.”

Those include Miko A. Evans’ MAE Corporate Network.

“He started the organization in 2002 as he saw a need to bring business networking, resources and referrals to underserved communities,” Huff said. “In south Fulton, we are very underserved with business networking and referrals. We have partnered with him to bring the organization to south Fulton. We are looking at establishing six chapters in the area. Our intent is to have the first one up in August.”

Evans said that idea dovetails with his company’s vision.

“Our future plan is to create chapter networks in various local communities in order to bring businesses together to network,” he said in a statement, “and create businesses growth and opportunities to communities who may not otherwise have access to new products and services.”

Another supporter is the restaurant hosting the event, which owner Chris Wiley rebuilt after a 2011 fire.

“We loved the new patio,” Huff said. “Also, we wanted to have an event in a unique part of south Fulton. Downtown Fairburn is undergoing a redevelopment renaissance and we wanted people to take a look at what is going on.”

The restaurant will donate 20 percent of its sales to the coalition if 20 or more patrons order food.

“Being funded off blood, sweat and tears, we wanted to start generating the funds needed to take our organization to the next level,” Huff said.

The coalition’s board and its partners will attend the event, including Evan’s company, GoWaiter.com, the Entrepreneurial Collaborative and the Camp Creek Business Association.

The program includes a briefing on the coalition’s mission, goals and plans.

Attractions include door prizes and free parking.

Admission is free.

Food and drink will be available for purchase.

The coalition’s networking events will take place every other month in different places in the area, Huff said.

The organization hosted its first meeting Monday in College Park of its special called committee for Old National Highway corridor businesses.

The organization will also host its first south Fulton transit riders union meeting Saturday.

“We want to make sure that south Fulton is included in MARTA conversations to ensure that we get our fair share of the MARTA dollars,” Huff said. “Some things that we are looking at include more bus shelters, cleanliness of the stations, frequency of and crowding on the buses, adding service to areas that have no or inadequate service and getting more sidewalks.”

On the web: www.southfultonbusiness.com
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