2019-09-27 11:48:45

Alabama Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, has been appointed to serve on the Alabama Small Business Commission, it was announced Thursday. 

Gudger, owner of Southern Accents Architectural Antiques in Cullman, was appointed to a two-year term by Sen. President Pro Tem Del Marsh. 

The commission, made up of 30 legislators and small business owners, was formed in 2014 by an executive order by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to advise the governor and State Legislature on economic policy surrounding small businesses. 

 “Small businesses are the backbone of Alabama’s economy — as of 2017, Alabama is home to over 382,000 small businesses, and 47 percent of Alabamians are employed by a small business,” Gudger said in a press release Thursday. “It’s an honor to be named to the Commission, and I look forward to working with other commission members to identify new ways to make the process of starting and sustaining a business easier and more efficient.”

 Rosemary Elebash, state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and past chairwoman of the Alabama Small Business Commission, praised Gudger’s work in the State Senate.

 “Garlan Gudger has been a champion for small businesses. Before the spring legislative session even started, Senator Gudger attended a roundtable the NFIB put together in Cullman of local business owners. He promised to be a strong advocate for small businesses in the Legislature, and Senator Gudger has kept that promise,” Elebash said.

 “For example, Stone Bridge Farms in the Cullman area had a conflict with a state agency — the Department of Revenue was overstepping its boundaries, and trying to force Stone Bridge Farms to pay taxes beyond what the law required. Stone Bridge Farms contested the additional taxes, and won its case. Senator Gudger sponsored and helped pass a law this session codifying the ruling into law, making it clear that Alabama’s lodging tax only applies to overnight lodgings, and cannot be applied to the rental of wedding chapels and banquet rooms,” Elebash concluded. 

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Gudger is also the founder and producer of the Southern Makers Festival, an annual two-day showcase in Birmingham for woodworkers, artists, and potters from around the South.

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