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The center of business in Rome

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Business Development

Chair: Steve White

Meets: 8:30 a.m. on the second Friday of each month

The committee is currently targeting upper-story housing and the revitalization of the ‘River District’, which is the 5th Ave/West Third area.

Opening a Business in Historic Downtown Rome?

Starting a business involves planning, making financial and location decisions and completing legal activities. We’ve taken the local process of opening a business in downtown and broken it into simple steps. These steps can help you plan, prepare and manage the process.  In order to establish a successful business, it is essential to plan well, stay motivated and execute effectively.  You will find the Downtown Development Office to be Business Friendly and we are here to assist with the local process. Whether starting new, considering expansion, acquisition or renovation, we are here to assist you in avoiding unnecessary delays and expense.  Your dream is important and with a plan and resources it can become a reality.  Here is a friendly resource guide:

Opening Your Business in Historic Downtown Rome Final

Georgia Cities Foundation Revolving Loan Fund

DDA administers a loan pool sponsored by the Georgia Cities Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to assist cities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by serving as a partner and facilitator in funding capital projects in the form of a revolving loan fund (RLF). Currently, the Foundation provides loans up to $250,000 with a usual repayment period of 10 years, not to exceed 15 years. Eligible projects include: real estate acquisition, building rehabilitation, new construction, and green space and parks. The foundation was established in 1999 as a non-profit subsidiary of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). For more detailed information, please view the information listed on Georgia Cities Foundation RLF website or contact our office at 706-236-4520

Georgia Department of Community Affairs Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DD RLF)

DDA administers a loan pool that is sponsored by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). DCA’s purpose is to assist cities, counties, and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by providing financial assistance at below market rates in the form of a revolving loan fund (RLF). The loan amount limits will generally be set at no more than $250,000 per project. The repayment period is typically 10 years with a 15 year amortization. For more detailed information on eligible and ineligible uses, please visit  DD RLF Brochure or contact our office at 706-236-4520

Rome Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

The Rome RLF is a local fund whose goal is to expand economic opportunities for persons of low income in the City of Rome by providing funding at the local level. Rome’s RLF objective is to provide loan funds to local small businesses from public resources. Additionally, Rome’s RLF hopes to create public-private partnerships with local commercial banks and other private sector lenders and investors. To be eligible, applicants must meet one of two national objectives: 1) benefiting low income persons; 2) preventing or eliminating slums or blight. For detailed information, please read the Rome RLF Policies and Procedures. For any additional information, please contact our office at 706-236-4520 RLF Application

Banking on Downtown Local Loan Program

The Banking on Downtown partnership is a revolving second mortgage loan program offered via a collaboration of the Rome area banks to encourage the continued economic development of the downtown corridor as defined by the City of Rome’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA).  Funds are to be used to develop projects intended to enhance economic development within the DDA service area.  Eligible funds dispersed by the program are intended to be used to fund the purchase of real estate, building rehabilitation and/or equipment. Founding Members: Citizens First, Greater Community Bank, Heritage First Bank, Regions Bank, River City Bank, United Community Bank, and Wells Fargo. For more information, contact the Downtown Development Office at 706.236.4520.



Additional Resource: University of Georgia SBDC (Georgia Small Business Development Center), click here.