Last month downtown Newnan saw two abrupt store closings, Deals 4 Dollars and Allison Performance Hobby. The exact details are not known about these two closures, as is usually the case when small businesses close. Many small business owners across America deal with the everyday stresses that come with operations. As technology, buying habits, and traditional forms of shopping change, business owners are met with difficult decisions on how to adapt. These are natural changes.
Courtney Harcourt with the city of Newnan tells us, “For the past five years more businesses have opened rather than closed within the DDA district. Many new business owners want to erase the past in these empty spaces and redo it all.”
While sadness may come with a retail or restaurant closure, it also opens opportunities for new business recruitment and retention.
Jessica Reynolds with Georgia Main Street shared with us, “The loss of any small business can have a tremendous impact on a downtown and the community at large. In Main Street we know that small businesses have a greater impact in our cities because of their direct impact on the local tax digest, as well as their proclivity to invest both financially and in-kind to our children’s schools, sports teams and the arts. While one business closing can be felt throughout an entire community we have to take a step back to look at the bigger picture.”
After a store closes, reactions can be dramatic at times, as someone might find on social media. Locals usually have the reaction, especially when it happens back to back. Jessica continues, “The reality is that in Georgia’s downtown areas for every one store we see close, we see three new ones open in its place. For every one job that is lost we see four new jobs created and for every public dollar we see invested in a local Main Street program we see a twenty-six dollar private investment return.”
The City Menus recently shared an article focusing on local Main Street Program. The article discussed how Main Street programs are qualified to approach the revitalization of a community’s historic district. Click here to read more from that article.
Jessica closes the interview by sharing, “Main Street managers are economic developers wearing preservationists hats. While the public may see festivals and events, behind the scenes are numerous volunteers, board members and staff working to develop incentives, to help market and support small businesses and create a connection between state resources and local business owners. Just as it takes a whole village to raise a child, it takes a whole community to save a downtown. The Main Street program and its network of experienced staff are our cities capeless crusaders here to protect and serve the downtown districts that we call home.”