by Baker Owens | May 12, 2020 | Insider Advantage 

The success of the film and entertainment industry has been one of the biggest economic development stories in Georgia over the last decade. That is, until all filming, recording and anything involving more than the person you currently live with is suspended due to COVID-19.The thousands of independent employees across the state that have been working on movie sets, television shows, and other creative enterprises suddenly find themselves without employment, and much of the time, without a large company employer that can assist them through this period. The economic impact of these industries is estimated at more than $60 billion, representing some 5 percent of all employment and 4 percent of business revenue in the state. Nearly 200,000 people, earning wages of more than $8 billion, work in the creative industries.In an effort to assist these workers, the City of Atlanta, partnered with Invest Atlanta – the city’s economic development arm, and City National Bank, have announced the creATL Relief Fund to assist those in the creative community working in the gig economy. The fund was initially capitalized by these with donations from these groups and others in the industry, with applicants receiving $1,000 each if approved.“Atlanta is a vibrant city and international hub for creatives and entertainment industry leaders,” said Mayor Bottoms. “We want to ensure our talent and cultural arts sectors are stable and well-supported during this time. This fund will help our creative artists continue to enrich our lives and our communities.”The fund is also accepting donations to increase the resources available and all gifts to the fund will go toward freelance and gig-workers in creative industries, film, music and entertainment, to go towards food, housing, utilities, medical expenses or transportation costs.Atlanta residents who work in these industries are eligible to apply. Applicants must be able to prove loss of job opportunities or income, contracts or other work as a result of the pandemic, and that this loss has impacted their ability to cover those basic financial needs.“Independent creatives are a major part of the workforce with Atlanta ranking second among major cities in the nation when it comes to people finding work in the gig economy,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Invest Atlanta’s goal is to support as many businesses as possible through the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19. We are thankful to all the partners in this project who are working to put much-needed dollars into the hands of Atlanta’s creative community.”To learn more or apply for the fund, see here: