New shops open in downtown Moultrie -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New shops open in downtown Moultrie

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email




From budget cuts to layoffs 2009 was a tough year for businesses and employees. But things are looking up for downtown Moultrie. Several new businesses opened and that's created new jobs.

Its day one of business for coffee shop owner Eric Foster-Whiddon

"We opened the doors this morning at 6:30am we worked hard over the holidays and late nights and early mornings to get ready for this," said Foster-Whiddon.

From morning to noon nearly 30 customers dropped by to check out what all "Beans and Strings" has to offer.

 "What we are doing is a combination of a guitar shop and a coffee shop together in the same space and have an environment where people want to come and build some relationships," said Foster-Whiddon.

Just across the square, Angela Henry is busy organizing her new decorating business she opened in November.

"I felt Moultrie needed a place to get rugs and fabrics an all inclusive decorating store," said Angela Henry.

These business owners are not alone. In the past four months eight new businesses have opened in downtown Moultrie.

"We've brought 30- 35 new jobs with these new businesses and we are expecting to have 20 more jobs by the end of January," said Amy Johnson, Main street Director.

Downtown officials say it's a trend we will see more of people flocking to downtown areas.

"All of these big towns their indoor malls are going away and being replaced with outdoor malls and those outdoor malls are replicating the downtowns that means there is success in downtowns.. it is the feel, the atmosphere the homey feeling," said Johnson.

Its what attracted both business owners to the location.

"There is the community aspect of being downtown and for what we are doing to succeed we felt we needed to be downtown," said Foster-Whiddon.

Downtown Moultrie employs close to 2,000 people and officials say they hope to never stop growing.

Some of the other new businesses that have opened in downtown Moultrie include a Curves workout facility, a florist, A Merle Norman cosmetics store, an art gallery a Georgia Department of Labor location and a brand new bakery.

In addition to the new downtown stores, the Economic Development Authority is working on a project to bring in more apartments downtown. Officials are also working on a intermodul facility to bring in more parking as well.

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