GETTING STARTED IN DOWNTOWN BAINBRIDGE

We are excited that you are interested in Downtown Bainbridge, and we hope to be of assistance to you during this exciting time in your life.  The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge has a variety of tools and contacts which you may find useful when considering a business in our district.  Please let us know if you are seeking information that you do not find on our website-we likely have it or know how to help you find it.

 

The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge has a great working relationship with the Planning & Zoning Department, and we are willing to assist you through the local requirements to help you expedite finding a location and opening for business.

 

The business start-up process can be confusing and cumbersome.  Fortunately, there is quality, FREE assistance for businesses available throughout Georgia through the Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network.  Local contact is Business Consultant Susan Paz McBrayer at 229-420-1144 or smcbrayer@georgiasbdc.org.

Once you identify a tentative location for your business, contact the Zoning Department to determine the permitted uses of that location.  Do not invest any money in a location until you know the location is properly zoned for your proposed use.

Downtown Bainbridge is located within a National Register Historic District.  Any major material changes to the exterior of the structure require a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.  All work must be performed by a general licensed Georgia contractor.  Permits are required before any work begins, and the fees are based on the total cost of construction.  Any demolition to a structure also requires a separate permit.

An Occupational Tax Certificate, commonly referred to as a business license, is required to conduct business in the City of Bainbirdge.  A business operating without an occupational tax certificate is subject to a legal penalty.  The fee associated with an OTC varies depending on information such as gross receipts and proof of a state-regulated license.  Occupational Tax Certificates are obtained and renrewed at City Hall.

  • Are there similar businesses in the area?

  • How is waste disposal handled?

  • What source of income will you have through startup?

  • When, where, and how you will market and advertise?

  • Can any of your supplies be purchased from a local vendor or producer?

  • Tax types and payments required by the Georgia Department of Revenue.

  • We strongly encourage local businesses to join the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce for valuable promotions, programs, and resources available to new and existing businesses.  

Funded & administered by the Downtown Development Authority. Monies are available for exterior improvements only, and may be applied to a front, side, or rear facade, provided the facade faces a public street or parking area.  The program is designed to give property owners and business owner's financial assistance for facade improvements.

Offers free training and one-on-one consulting services.

A listing in our Shopping & Dining Guide.

  • Coffee + Conversations:  Meet & mingle with your neighbors the first Wednesday each month at 9 a.m. at 205 E Broughton Street.

  • Sign-up for the Monthly Newsletter

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