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For Atlanta entrepreneurs, voting decisions extend beyond business performance alone


Robert Tavares

July 1, 2024 - 10:30 am


Atlanta Entrepreneur's Perspective on Voting Beyond Business

Entrepreneurial Success Amid Political Engagement

Having regained control of his members-only networking space in December, he reported that the Gathering Spot has achieved $20 million in revenue and continues to grow. The Atlanta-based company is now poised to expand with a fourth location in Houston by next year.

Diverse Voter Priorities in Georgia's Capital

Similar to many small-business owners in Atlanta, where President Joe Biden and Donald Trump are scheduled to debate for the first time in 2024, Wilson emphasized that his voting considerations extend beyond financial interests alone. He commends the Biden administration’s initiatives such as extending federal student loan relief and improving access to capital for entrepreneurs, which he believes significantly impact the broader business community.

Entrepreneurial Community Dynamics in Georgia

Wilson, hosting a debate watch party at the Gathering Spot, highlighted the complex economic and political landscape in Georgia. According to a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey, Trump leads Biden with a slight edge, reflecting the state's status as a critical battleground. The state's startup ecosystem remains robust, with a surge in business formations, including a peak of 320,000 new filings in 2021 during the pandemic, sustained at near-record levels since then. Georgia's favorable business climate, bolstered by lucrative tax incentives and a robust corporate ecosystem anchored by industry giants like Coca-Cola and Home Depot, has consistently ranked first in the nation by Area Development magazine over the past decade.

Entrepreneurial Policy and Political Leanings

Wilson, aged 34, intends to vote for Biden while advocating for increased visibility and support for entrepreneurial provisions within legislative acts such as the Inflation Reduction Act. He views these policies as significant but believes more should be done to highlight their impact.

Challenges in Political Discourse

Expressing concerns about the prevalence of misinformation, Wilson stressed the importance of basing political conversations on accurate information rather than divisive rhetoric. He noted the White House's cautious approach to directly confronting misinformation.

Diverse Perspectives on Federal Leadership

In contrast, Deonte Atkins, 37, owner of Za’Acai Cafe in Midtown Atlanta, which opened recently, expressed skepticism about Biden's policies and their impact. Despite his reservations about Trump's divisive rhetoric, Atkins attributes his business success primarily to Atlanta's vibrant entrepreneurial community rather than federal policies.

Geopolitical Concerns and Personal Priorities

With his business flourishing and plans underway to expand, including a pizza joint and a speakeasy-style event space, Atkins remains focused on broader geopolitical issues. Following the birth of his child earlier this year, his concerns extend to U.S. foreign policy and its implications for global stability, particularly in regions like Ukraine and Israel.


These narratives from Atlanta entrepreneurs underscore the multifaceted considerations that shape their voting decisions beyond immediate business interests. Their perspectives highlight the intersection of economic policy, community dynamics, and global concerns, reflecting the complexity of Georgia's political landscape as a pivotal battleground state in the upcoming elections. As the debates unfold and campaigns intensify, these voices provide insights into how entrepreneurs balance personal and business priorities with broader societal and geopolitical issues.