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Business Enterprise Program

What We Do

Georgia’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP) provides work opportunities to persons who are blind and who want to manage small businesses such as vending machine routes, snack bars, cafes/grills, and full-service cafeterias. BEP was established in 1944 under its authorizing legislation, the Randolph-Sheppard Act, and opened its first vending facility in 1945. There are currently more than 130 locations. Sales for FY05 exceeded $11.2 million and generated nearly $764,000 in sales tax revenue. Perhaps even more notable is that the average salary for a licensed blind vendor in Georgia for FY05 was $41,565.

Services We Provide

  • BEP staff develops sites throughout Georgia on federal, state, municipal and private property locations. Site surveys are conducted to determine whether a viable food service opportunity exists. BEP staff works closely with property managers to install all necessary equipment and fixtures prior to opening locations. Examples include the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Fort Benning in Columbus, the DeKalb County Courthouse, the DOL Sussex Building, the First Union Bank Center in Savannah, and all 29 interstate rest areas and welcome centers.
  • Assessment and initial entrepreneurial training begins in Vocational Rehabilitation and continues after referral to BEP through on-the-job and classroom training.
  • Management training is provided in such areas as customer service, merchandising and employee supervision.
  • A minimum six-month trial period is administered during which the candidate’s work performance is closely monitored while operating a vending facility.
  • Financial and accounting services are provided to licensed blind vendors through its nominee agency, Georgia Cooperative Services for the Blind, Inc.
  • Ongoing technical and administrative support is available to those who choose to stay in the program for the duration of their business careers.

For further information about the Business Enterprise Program, contact the Central Office at 770-724-6590, or e-mail us at rehab@dol.state.ga.us.

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For further information about programs or services offered by
Rehabilitation Services, please e-mail us at rehab@dol.state.ga.us