NewTown Announces $3 Million to help Entrepreneurs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 20, 2018

NewTown Announces $3 Million to Help Entrepreneurs Start, Relocate and Grow Businesses in Downtown Macon

DOWNTOWN MACON, June 20, 2018 -- Today, NewTown Macon announced its small business loan program will be tripling in size, thanks to the generous support of the John S. James L. Knight Foundation, the Griffith Family Foundation, and Dr. R. Kirby Godsey. The Godsey Initiatives Fund is an endowment and line of credit that allows NewTown to offer capital and coaching to businesses in downtown Macon. The Godsey Initiatives Fund is a unique tool and a competitive advantage for downtown Macon that allows traditionally underserved populations to access capital to turn ideas into functioning businesses. Because of these additional resources, NewTown will be able to serve roughly 40 additional businesses above current capacity, 20 of those being startups. Out of these 40 businesses, NewTown expects 33 to be woman-owned and 27 to be minority owned.

“One of my favorite things about downtown Macon is the diversity of locally-owned, family-operated businesses,” said Josh Rogers, NewTown President & CEO. “These new resources level the playing field for everyone with a good idea to have a shot at starting and growing a business downtown.”

"A strong creative economy is essential to building a successful city. With these new resources for entrepreneurs, Macon will benefit from people and ideas that breathe life into our community and help expand opportunity for all," said Lynn Murphey, Knight Foundation Macon program director.

Through the Godsey Initiatives Fund, NewTown is able to undertake not only traditional loans, but also lines of credit, joint ventures, equity investments and other creative solutions to start or expand downtown businesses. Each deal can be uniquely structured to meet the needs of the individual business. Interested entrepreneurs can start the process online at newtownmacon.com/loans.

In addition to the dramatic increase in resources for the Godsey Initiatives Fund, NewTown will be launching an Entrepreneur’s Academy this September, providing introductory training for aspiring business owners. University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Leadership Institute is developing the curriculum for the program thanks to an additional grant from Knight Foundation. The Academy will conclude with a pitch session for the business ideas the participants generate. The winner of this year’s inaugural Entrepreneur’s Academy will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize to assist them with their business idea. For those interested in applying to this year’s Entrepreneur’s Academy, please visit newtownmacon.com/EA.

Contact: Erika Conleay  erika@newtownmacon.com | 478-722-9909 ext 103

----

About NewTown Macon

For over 20 years, NewTown Macon has been leading the revitalization efforts of downtown Macon. NewTown’s mission is to attract, leverage, and invest in self-sustaining transformation with the vision of a vibrant and authentic city experience, unparalleled in the South. For more information, please visit newtownmacon.com.

About John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and John L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

About Griffith Family Foundation

The Griffith Family Foundation is a charitable fund with 25 years of philanthropic support to the Middle Georgia community.  Our mission is to inspire, encourage, and empower the citizens of Central Georgia by cultivating education and the arts, creating economic opportunity, and developing compassionate leaders.

###