"Not only has the local community rallied around us, but the state's small business resources have been critical to our success."

-Erik Vonk, Owner, Richland Rum

richland rum

About West Georgia

Region 8 Map - Southwest Central

This Southwest Central region has a workforce of just over 170,000 across 16 counties that stretch from Harris to Clay to Dooly.  The largest city in Region 8, Columbus, is the international headquarters for financial and supplemental insurance giant, Aflac and the second largest employer in the area, TSYS.  Fort Moore, formerly Fort Benning (military), heavy construction, banks and financial institutions, and health and medical services comprise the majority of jobs in the region. 

Former President Jimmy Carter still resides in Plains, Georgia and is active with the Americus headquartered Habitat for Humanity. Take a ride on the world’s longest urban whitewater rafting course, or take a stroll through the more than 2,500 spectacular acres of Callaway Resort & Garden.  Agribusiness and agritourism highlight the region’s deep agricultural roots.

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Christy Bozeman
Project Manager

West Georgia 16 Counties Strong

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2nd Highest

concentration of financial institutions in the state

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Longest urban

whitewater rafting course in the world

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Home to

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site

Area Counties

Sumter County Main Street

Goldens' Foundry, Cordele, Georgia

Columbus rafting

Businesses located in this Region
Gildan Yarns
Goldens' Foundry
Pratt & Whitney
TCI Powder Coatings
Helena Industries
"We are very excited, as Farmax, to be establishing our new factory here in Georgia, which enables our new North American business expansion."
Bill Deng, President and CEO, Farmax

A Tale of Two River Cities

Augusta and Columbus might be on opposite sides of the state, but they share the same passion and drive to build strong innovation ecosystems to grow their economies. Through the Centers of Innovation, these communities can tap into resources across the state ensuring that businesses can access the right resources to address their needs. Ultimately, this all leads to a stronger innovation culture where Georgia businesses can connect, compete and grow across the global marketplace. Discover how these two river cities are using Georgia’s resources and innovation network to build strong local innovation ecosystems to address growing their economies for the 21st century. 

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Richland Rum Ages Well in Georgia

Erik and Karin Vonk always dreamt of producing their own rum the authentic way. Georgia provided everything they needed, from the land to grow sugarcane to the strategic partnerships to grow and expand their business. With the help of state and local officials, the Vonks were able to locate a facility in downtown Richland, find a distributor, and build a successful nationwide business. Today, Richland Rum performs tours and tastings six days a week; welcomes nearly 4,000 visitors a year; reaches seven international markets; and is expanding to a second location on the Georgia coast.

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Site Selector

Discover property openings in West Central South Georgia.


Pratt & Whitney's Custom Workforce Training Initiatives

General Manager of Pratt & Whitney's Columbus Engine Center discusses their use of workforce training programs in Georgia to build the world's most successful aerospace engines.

Southern Fiber Worx | 2019 Small Business ROCK STAR

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