Legislator wants to study building music industry in Georgia

alt

Newnan's own Alan Jackson is one of Georgia's homegrown stars that Rep. Ben Harbin says is an example of someone the state could build its music industry around. (Photo by Russ Harrington)

By Walter C. Jones 
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Georgia has done so well attracting the motion-picture producers to do business here that now a legislator wants to see how to duplicate that success with the music industry.
Considering the number of homegrown stars like Alan Jackson of Newnan, Zac Brown and Trisha Yearwood, there's plenty of talent to build a local industry around, according to Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans.
"We want to see what we can do to keep them here," he said. "We really don't know what the answer is." Add to that the entertainers who chose to live in Georgia, like Elton John, Justin Bieber and Usher, the potential is even greater.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development estimates the existing music industry is already $3.8 billion here with 20,000 jobs.
Harbin concluded it could be bigger after discussing the issue recently with Lisa Love, who is director of Music Marketing and Development in our Film, Music & Digital Entertainment division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Louisiana, for example, has recently given its music industry a big push with tax breaks.
"I don't want us to say we'll just open the incentives," he said.
Harbin is quick to note that Georgia used tax breaks to lure the movie makers, but once filming became common, studios and other aspects of the industry permanently located in the state even though they don't qualify for most of the targeted tax breaks.
Harbin introduced House Resolution 529 to create a temporary committee to study ways to advance the industry here, from luring the entertainers and recording studios to even the tourism from their fans.
"We'll talk to where the music industry is now – Atlanta, Athens and Savannah," he said.


More Local

Health care boosting Coweta's economic outlook

Coweta County has taken the lead as the strongest job market in the Three Rivers region over the past year with an employment gain of 8.1 pe ... Read More


Two injured in rollover accident

Two teenage girls were injured and transported to the hospital after their vehicle overturned multiple times on Highway 154 Thursday. About ... Read More


Suspicious van harbors harmless investigator

A number of SummerGrove residents recently noticed a suspicious man who was allegedly watching children in their neighborhood from a gray va ... Read More


Downtown cleanup Saturday

Operation Cleanup, a trash pickup project for the back streets of downtown Newnan, will be held Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. Everyone is invit ... Read More


New retail bakery coming to Newnan

Your Chef to Go Inc. will be expanding their catering business to include a retail bakery, as the Newnan City Council approved its rezoning ... Read More

Historical society exhibit open this weekend

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will be opening two new exhibits this weekend. The Simple Pleasures national photo contest open Sunday ... Read More