Gov. Brian Kemp said small companies make up 99 percent of Georgia’s businesses and support the state’s economy. He stated at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce annual convention and elsewhere that Georgia’s economy is based on a mix of large and small enterprises.
“Some states depend on two or three major industries and if one fails huge numbers of people in that state are unemployed,” Kemp added. He stated Georgia’s many small firms prevent that.
Georgia’s Small Business ROCK STARS include Chamblee company.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development, the state’s sales and marketing arm and primary agency for soliciting new company investment, has named five small enterprises Small company ROCK STARS, saying, “The awards salute risk, innovation, outreach, and impact.” Shear Structural in Chamblee, from Region 3 (DeKalb County), is a ROCK STAR this year.
Shear Structural, the state’s only women-owned, women-managed structural engineering business, proclaims itself “a force in structural engineering.” Since its 2017 establishment, the business has completed 26 award-winning building projects. The state says founders Karen Jenkins, Holly Jeffreys, and Malory Atkinson “intentionally brought three different perspectives to a very male-dominated high-tech industry.”
The founders—including two moms of dependent children—say they embrace variety, adaptability, and empathy, which was reinforced throughout the epidemic.
“We value different backgrounds and perspectives at the company,” Atkinson said in the statement. “These qualities just make us better because we’re designing environments for all shapes and sizes, so we can address and problem solve for a variety of clients and preferences.”
Shear Structural’s owners choose initiatives that benefit the community and future generations. Education, healthcare, municipal work, and adaptive reuse—redesigning a building for a different use—are their main markets.
Owners stated the organization values community service. Shear Structural, a “Go Beyond Profit” participant, donates 10% of business revenues and undertakes at least one free project for a nonprofit each year. The business restored Chamblee Boys and Girls Club for free in 2022.
The state reports that just 1.7 percent of the 12.3 million women-owned firms in the US make at least $1 million in revenue, the industry standard for legitimacy and success. Shear Structural accomplished that in its first year.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Small Business team and the Georgia Economic Developers Association state that each company this year’s honorees has less than 300 full-time workers, is active in community charity, and was formed in Georgia. Shear Structural is licensed in 11 states with 15 full-time staff.
ROCK STARS “reflect the diverse interests and opportunities that make each Georgia community unique,” said Georgia Economic Developers Association President and CEO Grant Cagle. We look forward to supporting this year’s winners and others like them.
“From niche services to exporting in markets across the world, Georgia’s small businesses have an oversized positive impact in their communities,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. Since the program began, we have honored 50 Small Business ROCK STARS from 4,000 submissions. We applaud these Georgia ROCK STARS.”