If you’re a creative entrepreneur, the City of Atlanta has a Christmas gift for you. Enter: The Creative Industries Fund, a joint project between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment and Invest Atlanta to assist independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs in Atlanta.
The program offers loans with low interest rates and flexible repayment terms for local creative entrepreneurs to use for production, post-production, distribution, marketing outreach, touring, prototype development, product development and sales and attraction for their creative projects.
“Our city is rich in talent and ideas, but funding decisions are often made elsewhere,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “With the new Creative Industries Fund, we will help our homegrown innovators as they build and keep their businesses in the City of Atlanta. We will continue to build our creative economy and enhance Atlanta’s reputation as the center of Georgia’s booming film, TV and entertainment business.”
Together, the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia have established world-class infrastructure for the film, television and entertainment industries. As a result, the State of Georgia was the number-one location in the world for film and TV production last year. Film and television production in Georgia generated more than $6 billion in economic impact in 2015. In the time since Mayor Reed took office in 2010, the industry has grown from $250 million per year to $9.5 billion, representing a growth of 2,000 percent. The City of Atlanta issued more than 1,000 permits for film production in Fiscal Year 17, generating $763,000 in revenue.
The Creative Industries Fund continues the City’s legacy of supporting local entrepreneurs. In 2015, Mayor Reed announced the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), a 15-month incubator and acceleration program supporting 15 women entrepreneurs from the City of Atlanta and the only initiative of its kind in the nation. Earlier this year, WEI graduated its first class of entrepreneurs, who, during the program, created 59 new jobs and generated revenue of more than $1 million.
Mayor Reed also worked with the Georgia Institute of Technology and CEOs from 10 of Atlanta’s top local businesses to establish the Engage Venture Fund. The Fund is designed to incubate local technology startups and entrepreneurs.
“We have a phenomenal opportunity here. The creative impact on our city, both culturally and economically has been unprecedented,” Christopher Hicks, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment. “We look forward to building on top of those successes with this endeavor.”
Applications for the Creative Industries Fund are open to independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs operating within the City of Atlanta who plan to create within the City of Atlanta, independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs registered as a business within the City of Atlanta, and independent record and management companies operating within the City of Atlanta, as well as their talent located within the city.
“To ensure our city’s creative industries thrive for years and decades to come, we need to support our homegrown artists who are creating the next box office smash, hit music track, or top-rated video game,” said Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “The Creative Industries Fund gives us a new tool to create jobs, retain our top creative talent, and strengthen Atlanta’s reputation as a global entertainment capital.”
Applications for the Fund will be made through Invest Atlanta; a new Creative Industries Advisory Board will review the applications and make funding decisions. Awards will be made through Invest Atlanta, which will report on all approved awardees to the Invest Atlanta Economic Development Committee.