Equitable Economic Development

Equitable Economic Development

Decide DeKalb is a proud leader in equitable economic development, and one of America’s only Economic Development organizations with a dedicated focus on attracting large-scale investment to historically underserved and disinvested areas of DeKalb County. Areas such as South DeKalb, Clarkston and Buford Highway are brimming with potential! The diverse business scene in these areas is established and a place where community leaders and entrepreneurs are well-connected and ready to thrive.

A young Black woman in a vibrant green blazer looks up from her work to check her phone with a smile.

At Decide DeKalb, we understand that true economic prosperity comes from inclusivity and also recognize the uneven access to critical resources. We take a proactive approach, offering vital support to build a stronger future for under- and disinvested areas.

—Geoffrey Loften
Equitable Economic Development Manager, Decide DeKalb

DeKalb Black Business Guide: Amplify Your Voice, Reach New Customers

Attention DeKalb Black-Owned Businesses! Decide DeKalb is proud to announce the DeKalb Black Business Guide, launching August 2024. This comprehensive guide is your chance to shine a spotlight on your business and connect with a wider audience.

The DeKalb Black Business Guide is more than just a listing. It’s a strategic platform designed to elevate Black-owned businesses in DeKalb County. We’ll showcase your unique offerings to a community of residents and visitors who are eager to support local entrepreneurs. Increase brand awareness, attract new customers, and become a part of a thriving network.

A smiling Black couple look at a laptop together in an empty restaurant that has been prepared for opening. The words "DeKalb Black Business Guide" are superimposed over the image, along with the Decide DeKalb logo.
$2.7 T

revenue generated by women-owned businesses


increase in black-owned employer firms from 2020 to 2021

12.2 M

workers employed by women-owned businesses


increase in black-owned employer firms from 2017 to 2021


of businesses are women-owned

Recent Wins and Accomplishments

The Southwest DeKalb Tax Allocation District (TAD) sets the stage to kickstart economic development efforts in this area. The boundaries of the Southwest DeKalb TAD include Glenwood & Candler Roads, Flat Shoals Road, Constitution Road, and Moreland Avenue. The 794 parcels that make up the new TAD fall within unincorporated DeKalb County. The Southwest DeKalb TAD will include additional residential units, retail, general office, and industrial/studio space.

A map of the Southwest DeKalb TAD.
Three Black people stand together, smiling for the camera. The woman in front wears a pin that says "Visionary".

Welcoming DeKalb Initiative

Decide DeKalb recently gained approval from the Board of Commissioners to create a strategic plan for the “Welcoming DeKalb” initiative, with the intent to create programs and services to help immigrant-owned businesses thrive in DeKalb County.

Visitors to an info booth read over brochures with information on Georgia small business resources. A large screen sits on the table, displaying free webinars with industry leaders.

South DeKalb Pop-Up Business Incubator

This program offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to have access to the resources needed to help secure funding achieve growth.

Two women working at a table. One holds a paper packet with instructions for registering a small business in Georgia.

Small Business Revolving Loan Fund & Technical Assistance Program

When launched, this $2.5 million initiative will provide much-needed support to small businesses seeking capital.

A woman working at the SBA booth shakes hands with an approaching man.

Ongoing Education Partnerships

Decide DeKalb has partnered with the US Small Business Administration (SBA), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Equifax, New Life Community Alliance, and Operation Hope to offer essential workshops and resources. These programs focus on improving creditworthiness and financial literacy – key building blocks for success that pave the way for participation in our incubator program and beyond.

By leveraging these powerful programs, Decide DeKalb is committed to building a brighter future for DeKalb, one entrepreneur and established business at a time.

Read more about Decide DeKalb’s Equitable Economic Development efforts:


Decide DeKalb’s partners is what makes all this possible. We are incredibly grateful for their support and leadership.


Geoffrey Loften

Equitable Economic Development Program Manager