By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Snellville wins Economic Development Award 

SNELLVILLE – The city’s Economic Development Office was recently awarded the International Economic Development Council Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award.

The city was lauded by the worldwide organization for its Snellville Entrepreneur Council and Entrepreneurship Alliance for a city with a population of less than 25,000. The SEC and Entrepreneur Alliance provide resources and training for the city’s small businesses and works with area schools to develop the skills of student-run business hopefuls.

“This award recognizes the hard work of many business owners and entrepreneurs in the community as well as the dedication of teachers and staff at Gwinnett County Public Schools,” said Snellville Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren. “Without the combined effort including the business community, this award would not have been possible. The Snellville Economic Development Office has led the charge with the support of the mayor and Council.

“The city of Snellville has built the reputation of offering start-up and small business success programs to create a true entrepreneur ecosystem that focuses on the success of local businesses.”

Barbara Bender, president of the SEC and a city councilmember, said: “In 2011, Mayor and Council declared Snellville ‘fertile ground’ to become a boomtown for entrepreneurs. This recognition by the IEDC affirms Snellville is on the leading edge of best practices in business development to support the sustainable success of private businesses in/around the city … from start-up through profitability and growth stages. The SEC continues to build on its success and is now building stronger relationships with organizations like SCORE and other local resources as well as the Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship at South Gwinnett High School.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities. 

Specifically, the Entrepreneurship Award recognizes programs, policies or initiatives that nurture and support individuals or emerging small businesses to develop their ideas, products, and/or services into viable, competitive businesses. This can include, but is not limited to, providing access to finances, services, experts, networks, mentors, technology transfer, management resources and fast learning environments.