City Council president candidates pitch ways to help small businesses

By John Ruch

Big business may pull the political strings in Atlanta, but small business drives much of the economy and culture. Four of the candidates for City Council president were grilled on ways to help the sector at a Sept. 25 forum, one of a small-business series hosted by the Old Fourth Ward Business Association.

City Council president candidates who participated in the Sept. 25 forum included, clockwise from upper left, Natalyn Archibong, Courtney English, Doug Shipman and Mike Russell. Candidate Sam Manuel did not participate.

Among the topics were speeding up permits and licenses, affordability of commercial spaces, and supporting nightlife.

Participants included Natalyn Archibong, the current District 5 City Council member; Courtney English, former Atlanta Board of Education chair and now an executive at a nonprofit that provides wrap-around services to apartment complex tenants; Mike Russell, a former U.S. Army officer who runs…

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