Tagged: savannah attorney

A Long-Overdue Red Carpet Event For Savannah

A Long-Overdue Red Carpet Event For Savannah
By Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

When it comes to the movie industry, Savannah is no Hollywood. Why? Because it is far better! For the past two years, the state of Georgia has been the world’s most popular filming destination (as evidenced by the ever-present Georgia Peach logo at the end of so many films and television shows). While the majority of these productions film in the Atlanta area, Savannah is the second-most popular destination in the state.

That’s right. Move over Los Angeles and New York. Over the past decade, Savannah has enjoyed record-breaking year after record-breaking year as a location for some of the most well-known productions in the film and television industry.

In 2018, more than 200 professional movie and television productions and 147 student projects were filmed in the Savannah area. According to the Savannah Regional Film Commission, these productions accounted for $120 million in direct spending locally and had a total economic impact of well over $250 million in FY 2018 alone. These figures shattered the record set in 2017 of $65 million in direct spending with $138 million in total local economic impact.

It would seem a celebration of Savannah’s rightful place in the television and film industry is long overdue.

As if right on cue, enter a glitzy new event on Savannah’s social calendar with the launch of the Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala. Developed to recognize and honor several key local professionals for their invaluable contributions to the Savannah film and television industry, the event will make its debut this September.

The Gala will be open to the public so that everyone in town has the opportunity to experience an evening of Hollywood glamour right here in the Hostess City of the South. It also affords a chance for local businesses to show their support for an industry that is now intrinsic to our area’s present economy and financial future. It will honor Savannah’s rightful place as a key player in today’s film and television world while also giving a fun nod to the industry’s history through its theme of “Old Hollywood.”

The people who are doing great things to ensure Savannah’s rightful place in the film industry will be recognized and honored for their contributions. The Gala will not only be wildly entertaining, but it will shine the spotlight directly on many of the industry members who are quickly becoming shining stars (not to mention economic drivers) in our community.

The Gala will also feature an immersive theater experience whereby guests will interact and engage with live entertainers at an old Hollywood “High Society” gathering. There will be amazing food and drinks, special guests, live musical performances, and many other surprises. The goal is to give every attendee an experience they will remember for a long time.

Unfortunately, threats of a Georgia boycott have dominated the news recently. It’s time to wipe away the negativity. The Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala aims to shift the focus to all of the entertaining, fun, and positive aspects of the local entertainment industry.

The inaugural Savannah Film Alliance Gala will be held Saturday, September 28, at the new event venue, Victory North, located at 2603 Whitaker Street. All of the details can be found at savannahfilmalliance.org.

Charles Bowen is an entertainment attorney and founder of the Savannah Film Alliance. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

Boycotts and Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill

Boycotts and Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill
By Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

As every parent knows, children’s fairy tales and fables are often founts of considerable insight and wisdom.

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” sheds considerable light on politicians who vainly strut on the state and national stage. “Cinderella” contains valuable lessons regarding the mistreatment of the poor. It is one of Aesop’s Fables that is most directly relevant to today’s headlines, however: “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs.”

The story recounts the tale of a farmer who owned a goose that laid a solid gold egg every morning. While these eggs made the farmer a wealthy man, he still wanted more. “Then one day the idea came to him that he could get all the golden eggs at once by killing the goose and cutting it open. But when the deed was done, not a single golden egg did he find and his precious goose was dead.”

The state of Georgia has its own such rare and valuable goose. It is our film and television industry, and we have fed and cared for it well. Due to a combination of economic incentives, workforce development, and commitment to infrastructure, Georgia has become one of the most preferred destinations in the world for film and television productions.

Over the past several years, these productions have had an economic impact in our state of roughly $10 billion annually. Locally, we hosted approximately 200 professional film and television productions in 2018 that accounted for $250 million in direct spending in Chatham County alone.

The question our state faces now, however, is whether the passage of Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” may result in a costly boycott by the film and television industry. Such a boycott has been threatened by several actors and professional organizations.

For those unfamiliar, the proposed law would ban abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which typically happens around six weeks into a pregnancy. This law would be one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country, particularly considering that most women do not even realize they are pregnant at six weeks. As of this writing, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has not yet signed the Georgia legislation, but there is little doubt that he will do so.

There is almost unanimous agreement, even among its proponents, that the law is patently unconstitutional. It is specifically designed to attempt to get the question of abortion rights back before a U.S. Supreme Court that is now stacked with conservatives. The real goal is to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1974 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. But it is a long way to the Supreme Court, and every effort to pass a similar bill in other states (18 at last count) has been struck down before it has reached that level.

It is this legal layer of protection that I believe is likely to temper any threatened boycott from the entertainment industry. While there will certainly be action and anger from some, it is unlikely to result in an industry-wide consensus to boycott the state of Georgia unless and until a fetal heartbeat bill were to survive the inevitable court challenge and actually go into effect.

By way of analogy, imagine if the Savannah City Council enacted a local ordinance stating that no one over six feet tall was allowed to own a local business. While such an action would obviously inspire immediate anger, most reasonable people would understand that due to our system of legal checks and balances, there would no need for panic because of the certainty that such an unenforceable ordinance would be immediately struck down by the courts.

As far as the heartbeat bill, the vast majority of the entertainment industry will likely wait and see what ultimately happens. But they will absolutely be taking notes.

 

Inaugural Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala to Recognize Film and Television Professionals

Inaugural Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala to Recognize Film and Television Professionals

(SAVANNAH, GA) Savannah’s calendar of social events gets a glamorous new entry this year with the launch of the Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala. The Gala will recognize and honor several key professionals for their invaluable contributions to the local film and television industry. The theme of the event will be “Old Hollywood” and will be held Saturday, September 28, at the new event venue, Victory North, located at 2603 Whitaker Street.

 

Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala

 

Entertainment will be the focal point of this red carpet event. The Savannah Film Alliance (SFA) will invite its membership of filmmakers, musicians, and actors to show off their talents throughout the night.

There is also an immersive theater experience planned for the event, whereby guests will interact and engage with live entertainers at an old Hollywood “High Society” gathering. “The immersive experience is designed to transport event attendees back in time into a glamorous alternate reality,” said Charles Bowen, founder of the SFA. “This is the cutting edge of live theater and I think people will remember this night for a long time.”

The entertainment industry is a force to be reckoned with in Georgia as it has grown in the last decade from $240 million in 2007 to almost $10 billion in 2018 with 30 to 40 productions underway in the state at any given time. In Savannah alone, the economic impact from motion picture and television productions has risen from $26 million in 2012 to $254.6 million in 2018.

While threats of a Georgia boycott have dominated the news recently, the SFA Honors Gala aims to shift the focus instead to all of the positive aspects of the local entertainment industry. “I am especially excited for the opportunity to recognize and reward all of the hard-working professionals that have transformed Savannah into one of the most sought-after filming destinations in the world,” said Bowen. “The Gala will not only be wildly entertaining, but it will shine the spotlight directly on many of the industry members who are quickly becoming shining stars – not to mention economic drivers – in our community.”

VIP tickets to the Gala are $150 and will include valet parking, early entry at 6:30 p.m., private performances and meet and greets, a professional photo on the red carpet, a special award, and a VIP swag bag.

General admission tickets are $75 and will allow entry when the doors open at 7:30 p.m.

All attendees will enjoy live entertainment, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar. The honors ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. and an onsite after party will last from 9:30 until 11 p.m.

Sponsorship opportunities, including the title sponsorship, are available at several levels.

For more information on tickets and sponsorships, visit www.SavannahFilmAlliance.org.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
www.thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
912.856.9075
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting

Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting

(SAVANNAH, GA.) Charles “Bo” Bowen of the Bowen Law Group will discuss the Savannah area’s burgeoning film industry when Buy Local Savannah gathers for its May meeting Thursday, May 23, at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Bowen will discuss film and television production in the area, including existing barriers to its continued expansion and the risks presented by potential boycotts. Bowen’s law firm specializes in commercial and entertainment law, and he has expanded his involvement to larger interests in the film industry.

He is a frequent commentator and writer on entertainment industry topics in local media. In 2015, Bowen founded the Savannah Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.

He also founded Southern Gateway Production Services to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers coming to Savannah to film their projects.

Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he graduated with honors in psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law.

The Buy Local meeting will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch will be served. Reservations are required.

The local trade association boasts about 150 member businesses in varied fields. Buy Local Savannah’s mission is to support locally owned and operated, independent businesses in the greater Savannah area, to maintain the area’s unique community character, provide continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses by national and global entities.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

How to Get into the Film Industry By Charles “Bo” Bowen

How to Get into the Film Industry
By Charles “Bo” Bowen

So you want to be in pictures? Considering that Savannah is transforming into a thriving entry point for film and television careers, you are definitely in the right place.

Until fairly recently, almost all roads leading to the film and television screen started in Los Angeles or New York City. Over the past decade, however, advances in technology and financial incentives like those the state of Georgia adopted in 2008 have expanded the industry far beyond California and New York. Georgia has been the primary beneficiary of this expansion with Atlanta topping the list of current filming locations and significantly-smaller Savannah coming in second.

If you are interested in becoming a part of Georgia’s film industry, you should know one thing up front: no one starts at the top. The movie and television industry rewards experience and is merit-based. Anyone willing to work hard and maintain a positive attitude in the high-paced and stressful world of film production, however, will likely find themselves progressing quickly.

Granted, experience is crucial to success in almost all professions, but it is especially true in the entertainment industry. When a production begins filming, hundreds of strangers come together to work intensely on a single project — often for months at a time — and then immediately move on to the next opportunity. There may be a few stories of overnight success, but for the most part, those individuals worked hard for 20 years to earn that “overnight” success.

If you believe a career in movies might be a good fit, it is always a good idea to give your interests a thorough test drive. A great place to start is to work as an extra on one of the numerous productions in and around Savannah.

Working as an extra largely consists of waiting around for hours for a few minutes of work as a background player with no lines and minimal pay. But it is a prime opportunity to watch what film professionals are doing. Does it look interesting? Can you cope with the rigid top-down management and stressful environment? Does the reality look as appealing in person as it did in your imagination?

Casting calls are typically well covered in local media, thus finding an opportunity to work as an extra can be as simple as searching “casting in Savannah GA” on the internet. Casting calls are also often listed on the Savannah Regional Film Commission’s website, savannahfilm.org, or you can send a request to join www.facebook.com/groups/savannahextras.

If you still feel drawn to invest in a film-related future after being on a set, Savannah has you covered. Thanks to Savannah Technical College, our city hosts one of the 12 campuses of the Georgia Film Academy. This unique partnership of the University System of Georgiaand the Technical College System of Georgiaprovides a certification program of 18 credit hours, complete with internship opportunities.

Georgia Film Academystudents study a curriculum of on-set production, set construction and scenic painting, lighting and electric, grip and rigging, introduction to special makeup effects, post-production effects and, in the future, production accounting.

At $89.00 per credit hour (plus fees) at the technical college level, you can complete the entire course of study in just two semesters for a very affordable price. This can be a worthy investment to help break into a field where the Georgia Film Academyestimates an average salary is $84,000.00 a year (not to mention retirement benefits and health insurance coverage).

The required introductory course is currently on the schedule for Savannah Tech’s summer semester.

These types of jobs are on the production crew. There is a tremendous need for local crew in Savannah and once you receive the requisite training and experience, work should be easy to find. If you are more interested in the creative side of the process (directors, screenwriters, actors, etc.), there is still far more than just luck involved.

Savannah has a number of successful theater groups where you can audition for local productions to help you explore whether acting may be for you. There are also quite a few acting classes and workshops taught locally to help you hone your skills. Savannah offers college and university resources for those careers, as well. You can pursue theatrical performance degree programs at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong and Statesboro campuses as well as Savannah State University. Savannah College of Art and Designoffers programs in almost every spectrum of the creative side of the entertainment industry from highly-skilled and respected professionals.

Most importantly, do not give up.

Almost everyone enters the film industry slowly for little pay to learn firsthand what the entertainment world is all about while gaining practical skills and making all-important contacts prior to finding success. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, Savannah’s film production boom ensures the opportunity is there for the taking.

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Business and entertainment attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen is the founder of Southern Gateway Production Services. He started the production services company with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing them connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Bowen is also recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliancein 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Georgia’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. http://www.thebowenlawgroup.com

 

Attorney Charles Bowen Honored by Georgia Senate Resolution and Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award

Attorney Charles Bowen Honored by Georgia Senate Resolution and Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award

(ATLANTA, GA) A resolution passed by the Georgia State Senate has recognized Savannah attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen for his services to both the state’s entertainment industry and to its legal profession.

In addition, Georgia Secretary of StateBrad Raffensperger honored Bowenas an “Outstanding Georgia Citizen.”

The Senate resolution was sponsored by State Sens. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) and Ben Watson (R-Savannah) and praises Bowen’s role in promoting Savannah’s growing movie and television industry. The resolution cites, in part, the reasons for the recognition: “Bo founded the Savannah Film Alliancein 2015 to foster cooperation and collaboration within the local entertainment industry; he is also the founder and president of Southern Gateway Production Services, which provides support to all out-of-town productions coming to the region; and he is the co-founder of Aeroscope Studios, the author of three eBooks on business and entertainment law, and currently serves on numerous corporate boards and councils.”

The resolution also recaps business honors Bowen has received. They include being named “Business Advocate of the Year” by the Savannah Morning News, winning the “Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerceand receiving additional accolades from the legal profession.

The full text of the resolution can be found here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20192020/183638.pdf.

Bowenfirst met with Governor Brian Kemp before heading to the Senate floor. Sen. Jackson then read the resolution aloud and invited Bowento address the Senate. He was then named an Outstanding Georgia Citizen by the Georgia Secretary of State.

The recognition from the Secretary of Statereads: “May this Outstanding Citizen be afforded every courtesy as a Goodwill Ambassador from Georgia in his travels to other states, to nations beyond the borders of the United States of America, or wherever he may hereafter travel or reside. Thank you for your service to our State.”

Charles Bowen

(Left to Right): State Sen. Lester Jackson, State Rep. Craig Gordon, Alayna Bowen, Charles ‘Bo’ Bowen, State Sen. Ben Watson and Alexandra Bowen.

Bowen’s two daughters accompanied him to the Georgia State Capitol. In his remarks before the Senate, Bowenstated: “I am deeply honored, and I am very grateful that my two teenage daughters could be here today to see firsthand that working hard in your profession and trying to help others succeed does not go unnoticed. I know that is a lesson they will carry with them into adulthood. I also want to thank all of you, the leaders of the State of Georgia, for the tremendous work you have done in promoting the entertainment industry and helping ensure every year that Georgia remains the greatest place in the world to conduct business.”

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowenis a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law. Bowen attended Mercer Universityin Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown UniversityLaw Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowenhas received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Groupis located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Groupon Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

SEDA Entertainment Incentives Extended for Three Years: How to Make it Work for You

SEDA Entertainment Incentives Extended for Three Years: How to Make it Work for You
By Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Savannah did not become a preferred filming destination based solely upon Mother Nature’s bounty. While warm weather, beaches, forests, creeks, and marshes (not to mention some of the most beautiful architecture on the planet) can offer up a feast to any camera’s lens, the truth is that the lifeblood of the film industry is illusion. One room with a simple green wall can be instantly transformed into any location in the universe. Thus, despite the breathtaking nature beauty of the Coastal Empire, continued success will not be assured by our looks alone.

Movies and television shows can be insightful, inspirational, and uplifting. They have the ability to mentally transport the viewer to another time and place and have motivated some of the greatest leaders of our generation. But first and foremost, they are also a business. That means that money counts. A lot.

The State of Georgiahas become one of the top filming locations in the world due to the generous film tax credits offered by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Those financial incentives are why the dead walk in Senoia, Georgia and the Black Panther’s homeland of Wakanda has an Atlanta ZIP code.

While that is great for the state as a whole, what about Savannah? That is where the Savannah Entertainment Production Incentive comes into play. The Savannah Economic Development Authority(SEDA) has just approved a three-year renewal of this unique set of financial incentives for movie and television productions.

Thanks to SEDA, Savannah became the first city in the state to add additional benefits on top of Georgia’s already generous incentives. These local incentives provide $4 million to qualifying film and television productions that shoot in Savannah. They have also earmarked $100,000.00 of that total for professional auditing to ensure that the guidelines are being followed by the recipients.

So how do these incentives benefit local businesses? In the broad economic picture, everyone in the region indirectly profits due to the boost that productions provide the local economy. Movie and television productions directly spent more than $120 million dollars in the Savannah area in 2018, which equates (according to the experts) to a total economic impact of over $250 million. Landlords, florists, security firms, antiques dealers, equipment rental firms, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and many other industries all shared in that windfall.

If you would like to apply for the incentive directly, however, you must be planning a feature film or television pilot with a budget of at least $2 million with at least $500,000.00 of that amount being spent on approved expenditures within Chatham County. Productions that meet those requirements can qualify for a 10 percent rebate on qualified local spending up to a cap of $100,000.00. Television series have higher budgetary requirements but the annual cap goes up to $250,000.00.

The precise guidelines may be found on the Savannah Regional Film Commission’s website, savannahfilm.org. The incentives previously applied only to Chatham County but now cover any filming within a 60-mile radius of Savannah City Hall.

It should also be noted that SEDAis providing economic incentives to help build the local crew base, as no production would be possible without the myriad of individuals working diligently behind the scenes. If you have five years of verifiable experience as a film or television technician and would like to relocate to Chatham County, the local incentive will reimburse up to $2,000.00 per household for qualified moving expenses. The current budget allocates up to $100,000.00 per year on these crew relocations. That is enough for fifty crew members per year to move to Savannah, helping ensure that producers can find the local crew they need. Even better, the production itself can qualify for a bonus incentive if 50 percent of its official crew is hired locally.

Given the tremendous advantage that Atlanta has over Savannah in terms of both population and infrastructure, Atlanta will likely always remain the top filmmaking destination in Georgia. Indeed, Atlanta showed up No. 2 on MovieMaker Magazine’s January 2019 list of the best major cities for making movies. Savannah, however, claimed the No. 1 spot on that same magazine’s list of best small cities and towns for film and television production. This is a tremendous testament to the hard work of all the individuals in the Savannah Regional Film Commission, SEDA, and the countless other individuals and companies that have tirelessly and diligently labored to help build the Savannah film and television industry.

If your business has benefitted from the entertainment industry, or even if you just enjoy the thrill of wondering whether that person at the corner table in your favorite coffee shop is a movie star who has slipped away from the bright lights, a great deal of the credit goes to the Savannah Entertainment Production Incentive.

Charles Bowen is an entertainment attorney and founder of the Savannah Film Alliance. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

The Greatest Year Ever for Savannah’s Film and Television Industry

The Greatest Year Ever for Savannah’s Film and Television Industry
By Charles J. Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

What do an aging assassin hunting his clone, a football-playing private investigator trying to exonerate his daughter, an escaped slave interacting with famous historical figures, and an upper-class cocker spaniel falling in love with a street smart mutt all have in common? They are all leading characters in movies filmed in Savannah in 2018.

These films do not even begin to demonstrate the breadth of last year’s film and television industry in Savannah. From film noir in John Travolta’s “The Poison Rose” to the science fiction action thriller “Gemini Man” starring Will Smith to Disney’s live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” Savannah has played host to almost every possible genre of production.

Over 200 professional film and television productions were filmed in the Savannah area in 2018 with another 147 student productions on top of that. Whether large or small, each and every production served as an economic engine pumping cash into every corner of the local economy.

According to the Savannah Regional Film Commission, these productions accounted for $120 million in direct spending locally and had a total economic impact of well over $250 million in 2018 alone. These figures shattered the record set in 2017 of $65 million in direct spending with $138 million in total local economic impact.

As founder of the Savannah Film Alliance, I see the tremendous financial impact these productions have daily on a diverse range of local businesses. In addition to food and lodging, film crews utilize dry cleaners, pet sitters, massage therapists, and countless other local professionals. Small businesses across the city are finding a windfall in income from these productions, and every month, more and more businesses that service the entertainment industry are moving to town.

One of the major reasons for this boom in the local film and television industry is the Savannah Entertainment Production Incentive offered by the Savannah Economic Development Authority. This program provides cash rebates to qualified film and television productions that schedule a majority of their shooting days within 60 miles of Savannah City Hall. Since this rebate applies to local spending only, it encourages productions to hire local crew and utilize local businesses and service providers.

The reason this incentive is so effective is that it is offered on top of the very generous production incentives offered statewide by the State of Georgia. But all this government support would mean nothing without the many local crew members, small business owners, industry leaders, and educators, such as the Georgia Film Academyat Savannah Tech, that have worked tirelessly to transform Savannah into one of the most popular filming destinations in the world.

While these statistics are certainly reasons to celebrate, it is crucial to remember that all of this progress can be instantly destroyed by one ill-informed swipe of our new governor’s pen. As North Carolina discovered after its infamous “bathroom bill,” any effort to roll back the civil rights gains of the last 60-plus years under the guise of “religious liberty” could decimate Georgia’s film and television industry. Just last year, a bill that would have allowed private adoption agencies to legally discriminate based on “sincerely-held religious beliefs” made it all the way through the Georgia Senate before failing. Thus, it is important to remain vigilant lest any such efforts resurface.

Looking forward to 2019, Savannah looks well-positioned to hold onto its status as the second most filmed city in Georgia behind Atlanta. Numerous productions have either committed to or expressed interest in filming in Savannah this year. Remember, there is a lot more at stake than simply the chance to spot a movie star at a local restaurant or to recognize a familiar site on the screen. Entire livelihoods and real money supporting real families are being built by the local film and television industry and you never know where the flow of that money will ultimately land.

While recently browsing a local antique mall, well-removed from the lights-camera-action world, a friend ran across a prop master buying rotary phones for the 2019 local filming of “The Glorias: A Life on the Road,” a Gloria Steinem biopic. The film dollar travels far and wide. The pocket in which it winds up may well be yours.

 

Charles Bowen is an entertainment attorney and founder of the Savannah Film Alliance. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

The Bowen Law Group Hires Attorney Ryan Schmidt

The Bowen Law Group Hires Attorney Ryan Schmidt

(SAVANNAH, GA) Ryan Schmidt, a former touring singer/songwriter, has joined The Bowen Law Group, a corporate and entertainment law firm, as an associate attorney.

The Bowen Law Group

Ryan Schmidt

Schmidt, who toured extensively as a musician prior to law school, appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” and his music has been featured on the Apple iTunes’ “New Music Page.” He also won “Critics’ Choice” at the Starbucks Music Makers Competition and served as community manager for Redstar Media, a two-time Emmy winning multimedia and production firm in Boston.

“Ryan is a rising star and a key addition to our team of entertainment sector advisers,” said Charles Bowen, Founder of The Bowen Law Group. “We are excited to have him join our office as the volume of work we do throughout Georgia and the Southeast continues to grow.”

Schmidt attended Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, where he graduated summa cum laude and served on the Law Review Executive Board. He also clerked for a Nashville-based law firm representing clients in the music industry, fine arts, and digital media.

“With everything happening in the film industry in and around Savannah, it is a great time to be working with a firm whose efforts are helping grow a sustainable local entertainment industry for generations to come,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt, a native of Atkinson, NH, is married to Hillary Schmidt, a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate who works with the Savannah-based museum and exhibit design firm DMDG2.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based in Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Groupis located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit www.thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Groupon Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR

Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR
by Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently went into effect across the European Union (EU). The GDPR is a data privacy law that gives citizens of the EU far more control over their personal data and requires businesses to keep all such data private, safe and protected.

This law was passed in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the private personal data of millions of people was sold to England’s “Leave the EU” campaign and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Any company that collects data on people who live in the EU must follow the new regulations, no matter where the company is based. That means that if you own a company in Savannah but sell to a European customer, you are subject to the new GDPR privacy rules.

To better ensure privacy and protection, companies must now procure their customer’s actual consent in order to store their personal information. This request for consent must be clear and written in plain language (rather than buried in 50 pages of terms and conditions).

Any company that does not obtain this explicit consent may only store a customer’s personal data if they can prove they have a “lawful basis” for doing so such as a contract or other legal obligation.

What this means in practical terms is businesses will have to pay a lot more attention to the security of their customers’ personal data and they will not be allowed to hold onto it for any longer than necessary. Also, anyone can ask for their personal information to be deleted from a company’s servers at any time.

Any company found to be in violation of these new rules will face huge financial penalties. Large companies can be fined up to 4 percent of their annual global sales, which can run into billions of dollars. Even small companies can be fined up to $23.5 million.

The GDPR was designed to protect consumers due to the large number of cyber attacks and data leaks over the past few years. And despite the fact it is a European law, given the global reach of the internet, it has been estimated that 92 percent of American businesses will be affected.

There currently are no plans to expand the provisions of GDPR to the United States, but many experts believe that given the almost daily occurrence of large scale data hacks, it’s only a matter of time until such protections are extended worldwide. It will be interesting to see how effective the EU’s monitoring of the GDPR is over the next several months and how aggressively violators are prosecuted.

It seems clear, however, that data breaches and mishandling of personal customer information will be a lot costlier.

Despite the effort it will take to understand, implement and enforce the GDPR, it is hard to deny some type of action must be taken. Anyone who has ever shopped for a product on Amazon and then immediately seen an ad for the same product on Facebook knows how creepy and invasive the internet’s targeted advertising technology can be.

The National Security Agency can use that same system to seamlessly track almost anyone in the United States, and political firms such as Cambridge Analytica can use it to secretly single out political subgroups and sell that data.

Hopefully, the GDPR is a good start in restoring a bit of privacy to the worldwide web, but it’s just the first step of a long process.

Charles Bowenis a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

SCCPSS Student Film Festival Emceed by Charles Bowen

SCCPSS Student Film Festival Emceed by Charles Bowen

(SAVANNAH, GA) 190 SCCPSS students from 16 schools at all levels were awarded District recognition and advanced to state-level competition in the Georgia Student Media Festival this month. The student work was done on 68 projects in five different production types, including Animation, Audio Podcast, Live Action, Sequential Stills and Web Site.

All 190 students were honored at the SCCPSS Student Film and Media Festival held at the Yamacraw Performing Arts Center. Small clips of state-level winning entries were shown at the festival. The public was invited to attend.

Charles Bowen, of The Bowen Law Group, served as the event’s emcee. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. The organization promotes the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration. He has recently founded Southern Gateway Production Services to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers coming to Savannah to film their projects.

Charles Bowen

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

10 Legal Questions Small Businesses Don’t Always Know to Ask

10 Legal Questions Small Businesses Don’t Always Know to Ask 
By Charles Bowen

Owning a small business is an exciting endeavor, particularly when it means turning your passion into an income-generating career. But as almost every entrepreneur learns somewhere along the way (often painfully), being a business owner, unfortunately, does not make you a legal expert.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

I’ve worked with small business owners for well over twenty years now and helped them manage corporate compliance issues, intellectual property laws, contract disputes, state and federal regulations, litigation, and countless other unexpected legal hurdles. As a result, I wanted to share the answers to ten questions that small business owners often don’t know to ask until it’s too late:

1. Do all of my agreements need to be in writing?
Keeping track of every transaction and conversation may be tedious, but it is crucial to your company’s success in the event of a dispute. Whether it’s contracts with your customers or just a receipt for merchandise, written records greatly reduce your liability and can serve as winning evidence if a disagreement arises. Even a simple email memorializing a conversation can make the difference between legal victory and a costly defeat.

2. How can I avoid getting sued?
Knowing and addressing the most common risks of your industry can greatly reduce your risk of getting sued. Lawsuits can arise in many areas, such as employee complaints, accidentally infringing on someone else’s intellectual property, and failing to meet all state and federal regulations for operation. The first step is to recognize where your company is most at risk and then taking steps to minimize that risk as much as possible.

3. What impact will investors have on my business?
Investors can be a great source of the capital, knowledge, and connections necessary to grow your business. However, it is important to remember that every investment also brings added duties to the investor and reduces your autonomy as the owner. Be sure to that your investment agreement is clear and comprehensive, and that you are not ultimately giving up more than you are receiving.

4. Can I use my personal assets to operate my business?
One of the most common and devastating mistakes made by small business owners is blurring the line between personal and business assets. It is crucial to keep them separated. When you are transferring assets, pay yourself with the same company checks you use to pay your employees. Remember: if you treat your personal and business assets as one and the same, then creditors and courts can do so, too.

5. What can I do to protect my brand?
Regardless of industry, the most important assets of any business are its name and reputation. That’s why making certain your brand is protected is an extremely important part of any business plan. Be sure to register trademarks for your brand name, logo, and other important identifiers of your company. Registering can also help you put a stop to any competitors infringing on your intellectual property.

6. Should I incorporate or operate as a sole proprietor?
If you do not form a formal business entity, you are placing all of your personal assets at risk. To prevent this scenario and limit your personal exposure, you can form a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or a limited partnership. Review each structure and how each will affect the way your business is owned, managed, and taxed. Then choose the style that best suits your vision.

7. How can I foster a good work environment and limit my risks as an employer?
Rule one: don’t be a jerk. Now that we have that out of the way, another very effective way to ensure a good relationship with your employees is to create a comprehensive company policy and procedure manual. Knowing the rules (and knowing they will be followed) allows all employees to feel valued, protected, and secure. In addition, stay informed on all federal and state employment laws that affect your business, including anti-discrimination laws, health and safety regulations, wage and hour laws, and licensing requirements.

8. What should I do if I get sued?
The unfortunate reality is that the more successful you are, the more likely you are to get sued at some point. More success means more employees, more customers, more transactions, and inevitably more complaints. If you do get sued, follow three simple rules: (1) remain calm and do not respond in anger; (2) gather together all of the documents and other evidence in your possession related to the lawsuit; and (3) contact your insurance company and/or attorney immediately. If you follow these simple steps, most lawsuits can be resolved quickly and easily.

9. What contracts does my business need?
Well-written contracts protect your company by clearly defining the responsibilities of both parties. They help avoid disputes, make sure you get paid, and provide a clear remedy if one side fails to fulfill their obligations. For most small businesses, I suggest preparing a form agreement that you can use repeatedly and that includes all of the important protections that your company needs. If you operate online, it is also important to make certain that your website includes written disclaimers, terms of service, and privacy policies.

10. Do you have all necessary licenses and permits?
Be certain to annually monitor all federal, state, and local licensing and permitting requirements related to your industry. One very easy way to determine your requirements is to simply visit sba.gov. This website allows you to simply enter your zip code and business type, and it will generate a list of required licenses and permits.
Following these rules can go a long way towards protecting your small business from legal snafus and lawsuits. There are many online and community resources for small business owners that can be of great assistance.

Charles Bowen to Present “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” to Hinesville Rotary Club

Charles Bowen to Present “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” to Hinesville Rotary Club

(HINESVILLE, GA) Charles Bowen, founder of the Savannah Film Alliance and owner of Southern Gateway Production Services, will be the featured speaker at the Hinesville Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, July 11.

Bowen will present “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” during the weekly luncheon at the La Quinta Inn and Suites on Highway 84.

Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. The organization promotes the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.

Most recently, Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services, a gateway for producers and movie executives to navigate finding the best crew, talent and location services available in Savannah.

After going through a significant vetting process, Southern Gateway Production Services became a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. IATSE is the union that represents most film and television crews. This allows Southern Gateway clients to gain access to the most favorable terms and conditions offered in the industry.

“From our work with Southern Gateway Production Services and the Savannah Film Alliance, I’m able to get a unique perspective into the inner workings of making films in our community,” said Bowen. “I hope to share this information with other area leaders to promote the growth of this promising industry.”

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTHERN GATEWAY PRODUCTION SERVICES
Entertainment attorney Charles Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Southern Gateway Production Services is a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. Southern Gateway Production Services is located at 7 East Congress St, Suite 1001. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com or 912-544-2050.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen
Southern Gateway Production Services
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About the New Regulation on Crowdfunding starting May 16, 2016

By Charles Bowen

It is easy to see the allure of crowdfunding as an option to raise capital for small business owners. Be aware, however, that there are several hidden pitfalls to raising capital through crowdfunding.

Choosing the best model: donation or securities

Donation crowdfunding involves backers donating varying sums of money to support a specific cause or project on websites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or GoFundMe. In exchange for “donations” from investors, the entrepreneur promises to offer services, pre-order of products, and other creative packages. There is very little oversight and the online website serves merely as a facilitator for the transaction between the entrepreneur and the investors.

Securities crowdfunding is subject to far more oversight with the goal of offering more protection for investors. The SEC has passed rigorous rules to make all funding portals register before they will be allowed to facilitate transactions.

Critics of this method argue that these new rules could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars.

New Regulation Crowdfunding rules
Adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), these new regulations will present new opportunities and obstacles when they go into effect on Monday, May 16.

• Issuers may raise a maximum aggregate amount of $1 million through crowdfunding offerings in any 12-month period.
• Individual investors, in any 12-month period, may invest in the aggregate across all crowdfunding offerings up to the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the lesser of annual income or net worth, if either annual income or net worth is less than $100,000; or 10% of the lesser of their annual income or net worth if both their annual income and net worth are equal to or more than $100,000.
• Aggregate amount an investor may invest in all crowdfunding offerings may not exceed $100,000 in any 12-month period.

The bottom line is that new Regulation Crowdfunding rules will allow anyone, accredited or non-accredited, to invest in a U.S.-based company. Credit scores, collateral, cash contribution from the owner, current cash flow, owner experience, and so forth, are not mentioned.

Intellectual property
After deciding which model to use, an owner must ensure that any designs, names and ideas they plan to use and publish are not currently protected. A search through the database on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website will let you know if your name or idea is already registered. It’s important to search for the exact name, plus variations of the name including misspellings and similar sounding words or phrases.

In addition, you should do a basic internet search. After verifying that you have not infringed on any current patent and trademarks, be sure to federally register all relevant ideas, names, and designs to ensure that your work is protected.

Deliver on all promises
After a successful campaign to raise capital, a small business owner has continuing obligations to investors. There are numerous horror stories from donation crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter in which entrepreneurs go bankrupt following a successful campaign because they did not plan for the volume they would pre-sell or the additional funds needed to fulfill promises.

There are also commonly legal claims filed against entrepreneurs by investors who did not receive products. Set a realistic monetary goal and plan ahead if you are manufacturing a new product or providing a service. Donation crowdfunding sites serve as facilitators and hold no liability. If you receive the funds; you are on the hook to deliver.

Tax implications
Depending upon your product or service, the money raised may qualify as income or a non-taxable gift. There could also be issues related to sales tax and the issuance of 1099s.

All of these issues should be carefully considered prior to starting any new crowdfunding campaign. While these can be valuable resources of capital, the proper planning, research, and professional guidance will help ensure your great idea enjoys the success it deserves.

Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen, The Bowen Law Group

Savannah Attorney Invited to Panel the 2016 National Health Policy and Clinical Practice Conference

(SAVANNAH, GA) Savannah business attorney Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group will be a featured panelist in the Second National Health Policy and Clinical Practice Conference to be held in Savannah from Thursday, March 31 to Saturday, April 2 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf & Spa Resort.

The overall purpose of the event, sponsored by the Multiple Chronic Conditions Resource Center, is to extend an opportunity to interdisciplinary health care professionals and the general public to review, identify and discuss pertinent changes that are impacting and influencing American health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The culmination of the three-day conference will be held on Saturday, April 2. Experts from diverse and different disciplines, including Bowen, will participate in a panel discussion on policies and practice. Other participants include Robert Rollings, MD; Lisa Hayes, PhD; Elizabeth Harrison, PhD; State Representative Jesse Petrae; State Representative Craig Gordon and Joanne Lynn, MD. The panel discussion will take place from 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

“The 2016 Health Policy and Clinical Practice conference will facilitate a discussion and better understanding on how health policy interfaces with clinical practice,” said Bowen. “It will also be an opportunity for practitioners and the public to become better informed about massive health care changes being generated by the sixth year of the Affordable Care Act and that will transform the U.S. health care system.”

In a timeline announced earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects the standard fee-for-service payment structure to be dramatically reduced by the end of 2018 due to efforts to move Medicare and the health care system at large toward paying providers based on the quality rather than the quantity of care given patients. According to Multiple Chronic Conditions Resource Center, this is of particular significance to the largest, fastest growing and most costly U.S. patient population, those who have two or more chronic conditions.

The conference sponsor has additionally partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Research and Quality, to provide a FREE Train the Trainer Program on SHARED Decision Making at the conference. This will offer the opportunity for medical professionals across multiple disciplines to receive 8.5 continuing education contact hours by attending required sessions.

Early bird registration before Monday, February 1 is $289 for medical professionals and $195 for the general public. To register for this event, please visit MultipleChronicConditions.org.

ABOUT MULTIPLE CHRONIC CONDITIONS
Multiple Chronic Conditions Resource Center is an interdisciplinary source for clinical practice updates, guidelines, blogs, and courses used to support best practices in the care and management of America’s largest patient population – those with two or more chronic conditions. The Center is recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a clinical resource for interdisciplinary health care professional’s providing care for patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions. For more information, visit MultipleChronicConditions.org

MORE INFORMATION ON THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law since 1995. Bowen has his mediation certification by the Georgia Supreme Court as both a General Civil Mediator and a Domestic Relations Mediator. He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Georgia Bar. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Find The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
carriagetradepr.com

Savannah Corporate Lawyer, Charles Bowen Releases eBook on Trademark Law For Small Business Owners

 

(SAVANNAH,GA) The Bowen Law Group announces the release of a brand new eBook, entitled “The Little Book of Trademark Law for Startups and Small Businesses.” The publication provides small business owners with an easy-to-read legal resource for building and fostering a good reputation in today’s marketplace.

Using the expertise he’s gained from years of experience as a practicing corporate lawyer, firm founder and author Charles Bowen has created a book that contains fundamental information for small or new businesses looking to protect their brand name and logo.

“Making certain you design a marketable, recognizable and legally-acceptable brand and then taking the necessary steps to protect it is a crucial aspect of starting a business,” said Bowen. “You may be inviting significant costs for your enterprise, for example, if your company is marketing itself with an unregistered mark that is already being used somewhere else in the United States. Businesses can be forced into bankruptcy because fighting a lawsuit could well require more money than a new company can afford to spend.”

Along with explaining what is and what is not a trademark, The Bowen Law Group’s eBook also provides essential and accurate information about how to protect your trademark and distinctive features to include in the mark. The book is now available at thebowenlawgroup.com

Charles Bowen

MORE INFORMATION ON THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law since 1995. Bowen has his mediation certification by the Georgia Supreme Court as both a General Civil Mediator and a Domestic Relations Mediator. He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Georgia Bar. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He was also named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Find The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
carriagetradepr.com

Savannah Law Firm, The Bowen Law Group Adds Legal Assistant

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Bowen Law Group is pleased to announce the addition of Cheryl Lawrence to their Savannah legal team. As a legal assistant, Lawrence provides support on a variety of case files, including legal research, drafting, and trial preparation.

Lawrence is currently a third year law student at Savannah Law School where she is also Associate Editor of the school’s Law Review and a member of the Mock Trial Competition Team. Prior to joining The Bowen Law Group, she completed an internship for the in-house legal department of Navios, a Greek shipping company. She also has three years of paralegal experience at Spiva Law Group and successfully completed a judicial internship with the Honorable Judge Morse, Chatham County Superior Court.

“We are thrilled to have Cheryl join our law firm,” said Charles Bowen, Founding Partner. “Her enthusiasm and fresh perspective combined with her varied legal experience makes her a wonderful addition to our collaborative group of professionals.”

A Savannah resident since 2011, Lawrence is involved in a variety of civic and professional organizations. She is the 2016 President-Elect for the Savannah Jaycees, a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, and a member of the American Association of Justice. Lawrence studied exercise science at Marquette University and received a BA in law from Penn State.

“I like being able to work on entertainment, corporate and business legal issues. My previous experience was focused mostly on personal injury and litigation,” said Lawrence. “I am excited to be working at a forward-thinking firm committed to personalized service to each client.”

Lawrence is originally from Phelps, WI; although, she has lived throughout the United States including Tacoma, WA, Columbia, SC and Killeen, TX. Her husband, Fredric Lawrence is retired from the Army, after serving 20 years. They have a daughter, Kayden Lawrence, who is nine years old.

Cheryl Lawrence, The Bowen Law Group

Cheryl Lawrence, The Bowen Law Group

MORE INFORMATION ON THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law since 1995. Bowen has his mediation certification by the Georgia Supreme Court as both a General Civil Mediator and a Domestic Relations Mediator. He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Georgia Bar. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
carriagetradepr.com

The Bay Street Theatre Company Presents the Seventh Annual “The Rocky Horror Show”

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Bay Street Theatre Company is hosting the seventh annual “The Rocky Horror Show.” The production will be a live stage musical of Richard O’Brien’s cult classic. JinHi Souncy Rand is serving as the Director of the musical, and Warren Heilman is the Musical Director.

The Rocky Horror Show is about newly-engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss. After being caught in a storm, the couple finds themselves trapped in the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter just as he and his minions are about to give life to a creature that the doctor believes will be his masterpiece. Emily Rice has been cast as Janet Weiss. Charles Bowen will serve as The Narrator.

The dates for the show are October 23-25 and 29-31 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a midnight performance on the Thursday, October 29, 2015. The performances on Sunday, October 25 and the 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 will be open to all ages, although it is not recommended for children under sixteen years of age. All shows will be performed at Club One, 1 Jefferson Street, Savannah, GA.

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.clubone-online.com. All tickets are held at will call. Online tickets sales stop at 6 p.m. daily. Tickets may also be purchased at the door after 7 p.m. Food, toys and props are not allowed at the performance.

For more information, visit www.baystreettheatre.org

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. A graduate from Georgetown University Law Center, Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law.

CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Director of Communications
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Savannah Business Attorney Charles Bowen to Address Small Business Council of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business attorney Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group is the featured speaker at the Tuesday, October 6 Small Business Council SMART Lunch Series. Bowen will present “Ten Simple Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Lawsuits” during the monthly luncheon held at the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway, in Savannah.

Bowen has been practicing law in Savannah for two decades and is the founding partner of The Bowen Law Group. Active in the community, Bowen is chair for the 2016 Kiss-a-Pig campaign, a speaker for Creative Coast’s upcoming Geekend, serve on the board of the Savannah Filmmakers Association and the Business Advisory Committees for both Chatham Area Transit and S Bank. He also recently helped found the Savannah Regional Entertainment Alliance and is also currently performing with The Shoestring Theatre Company, where he serves as board President.

“Small businesses are the lifeline for any community, and I am pleased to share some tips with these hard-working individuals,” said Bowen. “Most small business owners are faced with daily decisions that could put them in a legal bind. This lecture will give attendees ten quick tips to help them stay out of the courtroom.”

The luncheon is set for Tuesday, October 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $12 for Chamber members. For more information or to RSVP, contact Stephanie Boaen at SBoaen@savannahchamber.com.

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking, entertainment and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, Bowen moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite for December 2014 in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
carriagetradepr.com

Charles Bowen to Present “Top Ten Tips To Make Your Small Business Lawsuit-Proof” on April 23

Founder of The Bowen Law Group to Speak at Buy Local Savannah Luncheon

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business attorney Charles Bowen has been scheduled to speak at Buy Local Savannah’s April Luncheon. His topic, “Top 10 Tips to Make Your Small Business Lawsuit-Proof,” will focus on what business owners should do to ensure their companies are legal and to protect themselves from personal litigation that could have devastating financial damages. The luncheon will be held Thursday, April 23 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Corleone’s, 44 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Savannah. Reservations and advance payment may be made online at www.buylocalsavannah.com.

Founder of the Bowen Law Group in 2012, Bowen has practiced corporate law in Savannah for 20 years. In his presentation, he will review ten important, yet simple and affordable, steps. These include setting up the correct business structure; getting the proper insurance; writing simple, enforceable contracts; ensuring agreements are in writing; and acquiring and filing proper permits and registrations. Bowen will also discuss the importance of including disclaimers in contracts, how to resolve business complaints quickly and directly, and the importance of not cutting any legal corners.

“Buy Local is an nonprofit organization composed of all small business owners who encourage shoppers to buy from local businesses. It is just as important for small business owners to set up their companies legally and properly, as it is for large firms,” said Bowen. “It costs a lot less to spend a few hundred dollars up front for a lawyer to review a contract than to be hit with a lawsuit and have to spend thousands later on.”

Bowen also offers a free downloadable ebook on The Bowen Law Group’s website that explains how form a corporation, LLC or LLP in Georgia. This, along with other practical information for business owners, is available at thebowenlawgroup.com on the “News” tab.

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN: Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, Bowen moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite for December 2014 in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. This year marks Bowen’s 20th year in practice as an attorney.

ABOUT BUY LOCAL SAVANNAH: Three Savannah businessmen. Rick Culbreth of Yates-Astro, Remer Lane of Remer Lane Insurance and Martin Sullivan of Sullivan Staffing, formed Buy Local in 1999. They agreed that an association of local firms should mount a comprehensive campaign to encourage shoppers to buy from local businesses. Today, the organization is comprised of some 150 businesses and is recognized as Savannah’s leading advocacy group for locally-owned enterprise. For more information, contact info@buylocalsavannah.com.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder, The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
carriagetradepr.com