Stacey Abrams Talks Small Businesses On The Campaign Trail

At an Atlanta press conference Friday, Stacey Abrams touted her plans for a $10 million small business financing fund.

Emma Hurt / Emma Hurt

Democrat Stacey Abrams is campaigning hard this week in the governor’s race. At an Atlanta press conference Friday, she touted her plans for a $10 million small business financing fund. She also responded to rhetoric about her from her opponent.

At a Republican rally last night, party leaders, including gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, said Abrams is a socialist with a “radical, left-wing agenda” funded by billionaires outside Georgia.

Abrams countered that she is “Mississippi born, Georgia grown” and “a daughter of the Deep South.” She called her agenda “people-powered,” citing support for health care and public education.

“[Full funding of public education] is something we have been doing for about 200 years: educating our children. I think there’s nothing at all about that that should be seen as outside the mainstream,” she said.

“I’m a Democratic leader who has worked across the aisle,” she said. “I’ve worked with the Chamber of Commerce and with labor unions. And I believe that I am the most qualified candidate for Governor that the state of Georgia has had in a very long time.”

Abrams’ hopes for the campaign rhetoric moving towards the November election?

“That we are constantly talking about moving this state forward, and we are not engaging in divisive cultural arguments about who is angrier or who is meaner,” she said.

At the event she particularly called out the businesses in Atlanta which have benefited from the film industry’s growth in Georgia, highlighting the importance of the film industry tax credit to Georgia. She also underscored the need to protect the industry.

“If we can not lose steam, not lose ground, and not scare away the supply chain that is the film industry with divisive rhetoric and terrible legislation that legalizes discrimination in Georgia, we can keep our state moving forward,” she said.

That is in reference to Republican support, including that of Kemp, for legislation that would allow faith-based organizations to refuse services because of their beliefs.

Critics say that will alienate businesses and industries, like film. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed that legislation in 2016.

Abrams will be in Macon tomorrow, continuing to pitch her plans for her small business financing fund, which she said would not come from a tax hike.

“Georgia has the revenue. The question is not a question of revenue, it’s of priorities,” she said.