ATLANTA – Republican incumbent for Georgia District 6, Sen. Hunter Hill, is running for re-election for the third time. With one of his main focuses being on helping small and local businesses, Hill has already made an impact on Georgia and continues to stay on that track if re-elected to the Georgia State Senate in November.
“I think one thing that makes America the great country it is, is the risk taking nature of entrepreneurs,” said Hill when he spoke on why he supports small businesses.
Since his election in 2012, Hill has received a 100 percent approval rating from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. By listening to their requests, Hill has been enabling change in the state by standing up for those who couldn’t find someone that was willing to help them.
When asked what he will do if re-elected to the Senate, Hill said, “I will continue to listen to them [NFIB] for things that we can do to reduce regulations and taxes on small businesses.”
With small businesses as one of his main focuses, Hill has been able to get laws passed to help these small businesses be able to receive the maximum amount of benefits possible from the products in which they are offering to their patrons.
On Oct. 25 a campaign event was held at 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery to benefit Hill while bringing awareness to small and local businesses. Crawford Moran, the owner of 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery, introduced Hill to the attendees before Hill spoke on why he wants to help small businesses even more if given the opportunity by being re-elected.
“It’s really hard to define what he’s done for us, in the sense that he’s done so much,” said Moran when asked how exactly Hill has helped him and his small business.
Moran, who has been in the brewing industry in Georgia for 22 years now, said, “Georgia was the only state in the country where you couldn’t go in, fill up a growler and walk out with it until a few months ago.” This did not change until earlier this year after the battle that was initiated by Hill for small businesses to be able to sell their own product without a wholesale distributor was enacted.
“We couldn’t find anyone to champion our bill for us and he did, and we won 96 percent of the vote,” said Moran.
Back in 2015, Senate Bill 63 was passed by a 46-6 vote in the Senate. This allowed for breweries to charge for a tour and offer beer as a souvenir. It also increased the amount of beer they were allowed to give for onsite consumption to the attendees.
While this was a step in the right direction for local breweries and distilleries, obstacles still remained in their way such as not being allowed to sell beer, wine, or other spirits directly to the consumer. Shortly after these new rules went into effect, Georgia’s Department of Revenue issued regulations that seemed to put the bill to a halt and reverse the progress that had been made by stopping the breweries from having varying prices based on the amount of beer that would be included in the package.
With the brewery owners angered by the recent events, Hill didn’t let it stop him from continuing on with his plans of helping these local businesses. In spring of 2016, more progress was made in favor of the breweries and brewpubs with the amended regulations being proposed in April.
“What he fought for, and we’re still not there but it’s getting there, what he was fighting for is that transaction,” said Moran.
Hill is someone who sees the importance of helping those in the community. He believes that those who make their own products should be able to distribute them how they wish. Not only is he standing up for those who need to be heard, he is making a difference in the lives of those all around him.
“It’s a big deal to make that sale, it’s life or death. It’s surviving or going out of business,” said Moran when he talked about how important it is for businesses to be able to have the freedom to sell directly to their patrons.
Hayley Connor, a former senate legislative aid for Senator Mullis at the Georgia State Capitol, who worked closely with Hill said, “I admire him for his service to our country, his leadership within the community and his pro-business attitude.”
Hill is known by those who he has worked closely with as someone who is open for ideas and ways in which he can help benefit the small businesses. He understands that the government needs to be as friendly as possible to entrepreneurs and what it takes to create those important relationships.
While this battle has been going on for years and it is still not over yet, Hill recognizes that there is still more work that needs to be done and he is up for the challenge if re-elected. These changes that have been made due to the leadership of Hill have changed the lives of these small business owners.
“It’s really small change but it’s big in the sense that it’s changed the [way], we now believe we can get there. Before Hunter, we didn’t think we would get there,” said Moran who is more than thrilled that he now has a politician in his corner who is fighting for his rights as a small business owner.
Hill’s opponent is Democratic candidate Jaha Howard. Early voting is open from now until Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8 and you can find your voting precinct here by entering your information.
Here you can listen to a small piece of the interview with Crawford Moran, the owner of 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery.