Doug Collins officially bows out of 2022 election cycle

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GAINESVILLE, Ga – Former Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins (R) announced his intentions to not run in 2022 for either the governor or U.S. Senate.

Collins joined a law firm and started his own radio program following his loss in the 2020 primary for retiring Senator Johnny Isakson’s (R) seat. Raphael Warnock (D) went on to win the seat in the January run-off, but it will be up again in 2022 once the term officially expires.

In an online statement, Collins said, “this is goodbye for now, but probably not forever. I do plan on staying involved in shaping our conservative message to help Republicans win back the House and the Senate and help more strong conservative candidates get elected here in Georgia. I believe that we, as conservatives, must be able to clearly communicate our values and I will help keep that fight going.”

The former Representative served the Ninth District from 2013 to 2021 and became a strong supporter of President Donald Trump (R).

Now that Collin’s out of the race, it opens doors for Georgia Republicans who were possibly waiting in the wings for his decision.

Two Republicans have announced intentions to run against Senator Raphael Warnock: military veterans and businessmen Kelvin King and Latham Saddler. President Donald Trump has encouraged UGA hero Hershel Walker to enter the race.

Many speculate Congressman Buddy Carter (R), and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr will enter the Senate race.

As for Governor, Brian Kemp’s up for reelection and many expect Stacey Abrams (D) to run again.

After Kemp denied Trump the opportunity to overturn Georgia’s election results, the former President actively pushed Collins to primary the governor. Trump’s vowed to campaign in Georgia and remove the elected officials who didn’t side with him.

So far, former Democrat Vernon Jones (R) has thrown his hat into the gubernatorial primary ring.

Kemp appeared to win some public support back by signing the election integrity act last month, but it’s unclear how many rural GOP voters will fall in line at the ballot box. According to Republican activist Debbie Dooley, 15 local GOPs “passed resolutions to essentially censure” the governor on April 10 and 17.

“Un-American”: Kemp, Ralston, Duncan condemn violence at the Capitol

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ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Republican Leaders Governor Brian Kemp, Speaker of the House David Ralston, and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan spoke out against the violence in the United States Capitol.

Kemp called the actions of the extremists “un-American” and a “disgrace.” He commented on the peaceful protests that took place in Georgia over the summer, but “we did not allow anarchy and we certainly will not allow that now.”

He condemned those breaking into government buildings and berating police officers. The governor also alluded that a special session in Georgia would have ended in similar violence and denounced Rudy Guiliani for his “trial by combat” comments.

Duncan asked Trump to clearly instruct his supporters to leave DC.

Kemp extended the National Guard executive order as well.

Duncan “strongly and vehemently condemned the rioting and violence at the U.S. Capitol and other places across this country.” He asked President Donald Trump to deliver clear instructions to those in Washington DC and tell them to peacefully leave the Capitol. As for Georgians, Duncan implored them to “put down their differences, their partisanship, and pick up their freedom.”

Speaker Ralston called it a “sad day.”

“The shocking images we have seen from our nation’s Capitol today are indefensible, un-American, and frankly heartbreaking. I stand here with our governor, out lt. governor, and the support of the members of the General Assembly to condemn in the strongest possible terms these acts of lawlessness,” Ralston stated.

He remarked that the loss of an election isn’t a reason to “jeopardize” the safety of other citizens and reminded everyone that “we are one nation under God.”

Kemp added that they are looking into increased safety protocols ahead of the legislative session which begins on Monday.

Ralston spoke for the entire General Assembly to disavow today’s actions.

“We will move forward together working on the things that really matter to the people of our state,” Kemp ended.

Earlier today, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and staff were evacuated from their offices because of threats.

One woman was shot to the chest at the Capitol and the streets in DC continue to be filled with people. At this time, capitol police and other officers are working to clear out the Capitol. Some senators and representatives are hopeful they will return to Congress tonight.

Kemp issues statewide emergency for severe weather damage

Announcements, Press Release
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Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Kemp declared a statewide state of emergency following severe storm damage across Georgia over the last twenty-four hours.

“We are praying for those who lost loved ones overnight and the families dealing with severe storm damage. In coordination with private-sector partners, multiple state agencies – including the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Department of Public Safety, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, and Georgia Forestry Commission – are working hard to restore power, clear debris, and provide necessary assistance to families across the state,” said Governor Kemp. “This morning, I also spoke with FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, and I greatly appreciate his offer of federal assistance as we work to rebuild and recover from these storms.”

As of early this morning, 177,000 Georgians were without power. Overnight, there were forty tornado warnings issued across the state.

Kemp issues statewide emergency for severe weather damage

Announcements, Press Release
severe

Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Kemp declared a statewide state of emergency following severe storm damage across Georgia over the last twenty-four hours.

“We are praying for those who lost loved ones overnight and the families dealing with severe storm damage. In coordination with private-sector partners, multiple state agencies – including the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Department of Public Safety, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, and Georgia Forestry Commission – are working hard to restore power, clear debris, and provide necessary assistance to families across the state,” said Governor Kemp. “This morning, I also spoke with FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, and I greatly appreciate his offer of federal assistance as we work to rebuild and recover from these storms.”

As of early this morning, 177,000 Georgians were without power. Overnight, there were forty tornado warnings issued across the state.

North Georgia Chairmen urge Kemp to close State Parks

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Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Twelve Commission Chairmen from North Georgia counties have joined together and signed a letter asking Governor Brian Kemp to shut down the State Parks.

“It appears that these nonresidents believe our area is a safe haven because of its rural nature. To the contrary, the influx of people into our communities has had a staggering detrimental effect on our resources,” the letter to Kemp read in part.

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Habersham County Commissioner District 5 Tim Stamey

The letter outlines the resources in our area that have been affected by the out-of-towners looking to seclude themselves, included in these resources are food, dry goods and fuel.

It goes on to inform Kemp that our area is not equipped medically: “Our communities simply do not have enough hospital beds or medical personnel to care for the inflated population.”

Though only serving as a commissioner for a little over three months, Habersham County Commissioner District 5 Tim Stamey felt he needed to be proactive in bringing a solution to this problem: “I am a retired special operator and we don’t sit around talking about things, we get it done.”

Stamey who sits on the Habersham County Board of Health said, “I’m on the County Health Board and talk to Healthcare workers in my county on a daily basis. They are the heros/heroines in all this. This virus does not spread itself on the wind.”

Moccasin Creek State Park, situated just North of Unicoi State park has been “crazy, 4th of July crazy” for the past three weekends according to Stamey, who has witnessed the impact on his county first hand.

Stamey initially contacted Rabun County Chairman Greg James and White County Chairman Travis Turner.

“I started this by just trying to get border counties on board,” Stamey said and added, “Then Chairmen were like well, did you call such and such, I know they feel the same way. It just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Stamey said that all Commission Chairmen were helpful, on board, and taking the matter seriously: “I talked to most of them several times and for up to an hour each time.”

Stamey, along with the 12 county chairmen and many residents, is hoping that this letter will get the attention of Kemp. The letter in closing states: “On behalf of the many citizens that live in North Georgia who entrust us as County Commissioners to represent their interests, we respectfully ask you to close all of the state parks located in our area immediately.”

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

 

Click Here to read about National Park Closures in our area

Gov. Kemp and UGA Provide Overview of CARES Act Funding

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Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided an overview of the funding allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This critical funding will help small businesses keep workers employed during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the University of Georgia’s 17 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the state has launched an information website to provide guidance on accessing a variety of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.

Beginning April 6, these state partners will host a series of web-based information sessions tailored to each region of the state. In addition, SBDC will be available to assist businesses, where necessary.

The CARES Act provides funds for SBA to aid small businesses through its network of private small business lenders. Georgia has more than 70 qualified SBA lenders, and detailed information about the following vital lending programs can also be found HERE.

“Small businesses are the engine of Georgia’s economy and provide economic opportunity for millions of Georgia families,” said Governor Kemp. “As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, this critical resource will provide a lifeline to small businesses across our state. I am encouraging all Georgians to support their local businesses in this difficult time. We will get through this together.”

“The Georgia Department of Economic Development is continuing to work with our partners statewide to confront COVID-19 and move forward together,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “We thank Governor Kemp, DCA, and SBDC for working together with us to better and more efficiently serve our state’s small businesses at this time of great need.”

“DCA is proud to work with our state partners to support the small businesses that are such a vital part of the communities we serve,” said DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn.

“The University of Georgia has a strong track record of helping to develop new small businesses across the state. Assisting these firms to navigate COVID-19 aligns perfectly with our land-grant mission,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead.

Kemp and UGA’s SBDC released a list of SBA lenders.

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
A new $349 billion lending program under the existing SBA 7(a) program. The SBA guarantee of PPP loans will be 100 percent through the end of 2020. PPP loan payments will be deferred for a minimum of six and up to twelve months. Loans will be administered through local and regional banks; any federally regulated bank may become an SBA lender for this purpose. The Department of the Treasury will issue regulations for these loans quickly.

Eligibility: Small businesses as defined by SBA size standards, generally up to 500 employees, but up to 1,500 depending on the sector; sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors.
The interest rate will not exceed 4 percent; currently fixed at 0.5 percent.
Regulatory streamlining: SBA’s standard “no credit elsewhere” test is waived, no personal guarantee or collateral required, and no additional fees will be applied to these loans.
Size of loans: Up to $10 million. Loan amount is based on recent payroll costs, compensation paid to individuals, including those who are self-employed. Compensation in excess of $100,000 per year to any individual is excluded.
Requirements: The business must certify the loan will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage or lease payments, and pay utilities.
Loans may be forgiven, up to an amount equaling eligible payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility cost, incurred during the eight-week period starting from the loan origination. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual will not qualify for forgiveness. Additionally, loan forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25 percent, and loan forgiveness is not treated as taxable income.

Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance

Eligibility: Advances are available to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses in operation on January 31, 2020.
For those that apply for the EIDL, an advance of up to $10,000 will be provided to small businesses within several days of applying for the loan.
The advance does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EDL.
Funds can be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Eligibility: Businesses with 500 employees or fewer. This includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors, cooperatives, ESPOs, and tribal small businesses with <= 500 employees.
Up to $2 million can be provided to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster did not occur.
Loans can be made based solely on credit scores.
The interest rate on EIDLs will be 3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses.
The first twelve payments will be deferred and not become due until one year after the original disbursement. Interest does not accrue during this time.
The term of these loans will be up to thirty years.

7(a) Loan Payment Relief

SBA will pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees owed on 7(a) loans as follows:

Existing borrower not on deferment: six months beginning with the next payment due on the loan;
Existing borrower on deferment: six months of payments beginning with the next payment due on the loan after the deferment period; and
New borrower: six months of payments beginning with the first payment due on the loan, but only for new loans made within the first six months starting from the date of enactment.

Should you need assistance, the UGA Small Business Development Center offices across the state are open and available. Contact information for every office is available HERE.

Earlier today Kemp released details on Medicaid and Peachcare waiver. 

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