In response to changing economic dynamics and untapped business opportunities, Invest Atlanta is the new identity of the city’s Atlanta Development Authority, Mayor Kasim Reed said during last week’s state of the city address.

“I have made economic development one of my administration’s top priorities, and this change represents an effort to modernize our approach to economic growth,” said Reed, who is chairman of the agency’s board. “We must get our economy moving again because our unemployment level is too high and families are hurting.”

Invest Atlanta will focus on creating, attracting, retaining and expanding business to add jobs and bring in new tax revenues for the city, he said.

The agency will continue to issue bonds, help residents purchase homes, offer incentives for new development and provide small business loans, though strong emphasis will be placed on attracting new investment, international trade and entrepreneurship.

Reed highlighted what he described as the major accomplishments of his first two years in office, including improving the city’s finances, pension reforms, and restoring basic services while implementing two years of balanced budgets with no property tax hikes and increasing cash reserves to the current $94.4 million from $7.4 million in January 2010.

“We’ve made real progress in delivering on the issues that matter most to residents and taxpayers,” Reed said. “It is my sincere hope that when the story of Atlanta today is written, the authors will find that we dared to strive for excellence in the midst of grave challenges, and that we succeeded in meeting our collective goals.”

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