The latest Regional Snapshot examines creative industries in the 10-county Atlanta region, with the largest sectors including Film & Media, Literary & Publishing and Design. The industries have been on the rise ever since the tax credit was retooled in 2008.
Today film, television and digital entertainment tax credits of up to 30 percent create significant cost savings for companies producing feature films, television series, music videos and commercials, as well as interactive games and animation.
Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects.
In an interview with Variety magazine, Broderick Johnson, producer of “The Blind Side,” said, “The magnitude of Georgia’s tax break is one of the best, if not the best in the country.” Johnson’s award-winning film was one of hundreds of projects shot in Georgia in recent years.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Because Fulton County has the largest employment base, by far, in the region, it naturally has the largest number of creative industry busi- nesses. Fulton has more than 4,000 businesses, roughly one-third of the total in the region, that are considered part of the creative industry cluster. Next is Gwinnett with 2,100 (18 percent of all creative industry businesses), DeKalb (2,050, 17 percent) and Cobb (1,900, 16 percent).
NOT ALL SECTORS ARE CREATED EQUAL
We isolated six primary sectors of the creative industry cluster – Design; Film & Media; Heritage & Museum; Literary & Publishing; Performing Arts; and Visual Arts & Crafts. Chart 2 shows that 27 percent of all creative industries fall into the Film & Media category; the sector employs 38 percent of creative industry employees.
While the Design Sector has 22 percent of all creative industry businesses, it only employs 16 percent of the workers, showing this sector to be less labor-intensive than other creative industry sectors.
Conversely, while the Literary & Publishing Sector has almost 16 percent of all creative industry businesses, it employs almost 24 percent of the workers, meaning this sector is more labor-intensive.
We also looked at the top three employer categories (based on NAICS code) for each creative industry sector. Table 2 shows that in the Design sector, the “Architectural Services” sub-industry employs the most workers – by a large margin – while the “Graphic Design” and “Interior Design” sub-industries rank second and third.
Within the Film & Media Sector, there are more than 6,600 workers in Advertising Agencies and more than 4,000 workers in both the “Software Publishers” sub-industry and the “Radio, Television, and Electronics Stores” sub-industry. The latter sub-industry is included in our definition of creative industries because such stores are the primary distribution centers of products made in these industries.
Many of these sectors have non-profits that make up the bulk of businesses and workers, including the Heritage & Museum sector and the Performing Arts sector.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For 60 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region’s leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.