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Georgia College receives USDA Rural Business Development grant

Georgia College recently received a $63,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDA Rural Development State Director Quinton Robinson discussed the project on campus Dec. 14. Robinson met with Georgia College President Dr. Steve Dorman, Dr. James Payne, dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and co-collaborator Caroline Collier, Center of Design and E-Commerce (CODEC) director and lecturer in the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science, as well as Dr. Tanya Goette, chair of the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science.

The USDA Rural Business Development grant will enable rural counties in Georgia to overcome significant challenges, including size; limited financial, technological, and human resources; and limited exposure to the global marketplace, by partnering with Georgia College’s CODEC to develop e-commerce websites, effective social media pages and enhanced search engine optimization of their websites.

“The grant project is based on the fact that central Georgia’s small businesses play a crucial role in contributing to the region’s economic recovery,” said Collier. “With a change in marketing techniques and expansion into global markets using e-commerce services made possible through CODEC, we hope that new businesses will once again thrive in central Georgia.”

CODEC will educate rural businesses on how to develop e-commerce websites, create effective social media pages and improve search engine optimization (SEO) of their websites using simple tutorial videos. The center will provide on-site support and assistance as well as a series of three tutorial videos for businesses to use featuring an e-commerce series, social media series and SEO series. Students from the Department of Mass Communication will film and edit the tutorial videos.

This project will also include students from a large spectrum of majors like management, information systems, computer science, mass communication and marketing. The project will benefit students by giving them hands-on experience in their fields, while also benefiting small businesses located in rural counties in Georgia.

For more information about the CODEC, call 478-445-2595 or 478-445-5721.

Brittiny Johnson
Manager of Media Relations
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