Job creation is critical to keeping Georgia competitive today. We must continue to lead the southeast in economic growth and provide meaningful employment opportunities for our citizens and their families. The future strength of our state rests in our continued economic expansion and progression.
Georgia is home to thousands of companies -- large and small -- that provide our families with well-paying jobs. Georgia is home to 14 Fortune 500 companies and many well-known corporations including The Home Depot, Coca-Cola, CNN, Delta, UPS, AFLAC, Gulftstream Aerospace, Newell Rubbermaid, Chick-fil-A and more. We take pride in being the kind of state that attracts and retains companies of this caliber.
We also recognize that small businesses are one of our most valuable job-creating assets. Georgia's small businesses account for a large share of hiring and are essential to our economic well-being and growth. Nationwide, small businesses employ just over half of all private sector employees and have generated 64% of the net new jobs over the past 15 years. That is why I am committed to working to relieve Georgia's small businesses from costly regulations and to provide a low tax structure that attracts entrepreneurs and employers.
The fact is we no longer simply compete for jobs with surrounding states. In the global economy of today, we compete with the world to attract and retain quality, high-paying jobs. That is why we must make certain our public policies provide a rich breeding ground for job growth. This takes thoughtful leadership coupled with the ability to provide a true business-friendly environment and a vision that attracts new jobs. I am committed to doing all we can to make certain job creation remains a top priority for state government.