A conversation with a WTCSav partner.
City of Savannah Director of Business Opportunity, Manuel Dominguez
Tell us about the City of Savannah.
The City of Savannah is a coastal Georgia city separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. We are known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture. Our historic district is filled with cobblestoned streets, squares and parks such as Forsyth Park shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss.
How does the City of Savannah work with World Trade Center Savannah?
World Trade Center Savannah serves the City of Savannah’s international business needs. From hosting international business delegations to providing specialized research, WTCSav is a true asset in helping connect the City of Savannah to the global business arena.
What services do you offer?
The City of Savannah provides a range of resources to local businesses.
- Savannah Entrepreneurial Center (SEC) – strives to increase local business creation and to support the economic empowerment of Savannah’s residents through business training and development. The SEC also provides business networking opportunities and referrals to other business and financial resources. Our SEC also provides business education and events, one-on-one training, mentoring, and technical support.
- The Savannah Business Opportunity (SBO) program – helps spur local economic growth and allows small, local firms to compete at the prime contractor level. SBO is aimed at increasing the utilization of local small businesses. Businesses that meet required revenue and employee thresholds are eligible for certification as Savannah Business Enterprises (SBEs), allowing them to participate in sheltered City contracts. Additionally, the City has established cumulative annual participation goals to increase subcontracting opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) certified at the state and federal level.
- Business Incentives – Businesses can qualify for a variety of incentives when they open, relocate and expand job opportunities in Savannah. Incentives are available at the local, state and federal level. We invite your business to examine the many opportunities available when you choose to locate or expand your business in Savannah and hope these opportunities could potentially help start or grow your business.
- Business & Development Services Liaisons – Navigating the maze of City offices, rules and requirements to open, build, expand or operate a business can be challenging. The City of Savannah has business and development services liaisons that are available to help understand City services, general requirements and processes.
- Small Business Loan Programs – The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U.S Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development to promote economic growth. The agency provides loans and technical assistance for new and existing small businesses in the city of Savannah, southeast Georgia and the Low Country of South Carolina.
Who is your ideal customer/client?
Our goal is to be a resource for every person in the city, whether you’re a local or a visitor. If we don’t offer what you need, we’ll help you find it.
Describe your experience with WTCSav.
The team at WTCSav has been an amazing resource, whether it was scheduling meetings, hosting delegations or providing important information for international initiatives.
What advice do you have for other companies that are considering expanding through global markets?
The best advice I can give to a business of any size that is considering expanding, especially to global markets is to have a strong, solid business model. It takes a strong home foundation before a firm can even begin to enter the global market. We recommend that companies considering global expansion call the team at World Trade Center Savannah.
What advice do you have for business owners in our region?
There are so many available resources to business owners and entrepreneurs, many of which are often under-utilized, for example our small business loan programs. A great piece of advice I can give is to take advantage of the available resources. Sustainable business development, retention and growth is a top priority for the City of Savannah and the community at-large. We want our businesses to thrive and we encourage new businesses to relocate and expand to our region.
2 East Bay St.
Savannah, GA, USA 31401