The Challenge 

"Atlanta has struggled for decades with the racial and socioeconomic divides that are so evident in our city. And for the better part of a decade, we’ve wrestled with the worst income inequality in the country combined with rapid gentrification and displacement in longtime African-American communities.

There is true fear and anger in our community as families are being priced out of their own neighborhood— either by investors buying and flipping homes on their street or by multi-million dollar developments around the corner. If we aren’t intentional and equitable in how this city develops, we will look up soon and see an Atlanta that legacy residents, and their children, won’t be able to call home."

---- Matt Westmoreland, Atlanta City Council

 

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The factors of inequitable development not only impact individual residents but the business community that many of these residents rely on. In Southwest Atlanta growth along the "Beltline" has lead to unsustainable rental market rates for many long term local community focused “Mom & Pop” businesses. These continually increasing rates tend to only leave room for short term corporate business, which have little to no stake in the benefiting it surrounding community.

 

Rising property values and rents also serve to choke the cashflow of small businesses, especially those who are traditionally locked out of larger financial networks. This effectively kills the ability of these businesses to grow and eventually own their own space, creating a cycle of vulnerability in our community. 

 

 

Based on many socio economic factors many business owners of the 30310,30314,30318 zip code, may never be an "ideal" candidate for ownership of their space. The inability to claim ownership stakes in the community at this moment only increases the likelihood that many of our local entrepreneurs will be forced to move to other areas of Metro Atlanta or close completely.