Georgia lends helping hand to biotech companies

March 12, 2012 by  

Businesses in science and technology often rely on subsidies from state and Federal governments in order to operate during the research and development phases of important projects that may not be generating revenue yet. In an effort to bring higher paid jobs and educated professionals to metro Atlanta areas like Peachtree City, Georgia legislators created the Life Sciences Facilities Fund in order to grow the state’s fledgling biotech industry. The results have been tremendous. Of Southern states, Georgia comes second only to North Carolina with the number of biotech firms in the state; nationally, Georgia is in the top 10 of all states.

The Life Sciences Facilities Fund was founded in 2004. The program offers little or no interest loans to biotechnology companies unable to obtain bank loans. Such funds are used by companies to move to labs better equipped for testing needs, buy equipment or build offices.

“There’s no way for them to expand their business without it. The real estate community is very, very squeamish with that kind of investment,”

said Mike Cassidy, president of the Georgia Research Alliance. Still, there is no guarantee of success with such loans.

“It’s high risk, high reward. You will have some that don’t perform as expected; you will have some that knock it out of the park,”

according to Brian Williamson, assistant commissioner for Georgia’s Community Development Department.

Biotech companies petitioning the Life Sciences Facilities Fund can rely on brochure printers in Peachtree City and surrouding areas of Georgia when explaining operations to decision makers and soliciting investments.