Americus helps get business for downtown

Americus helps get business for downtown
Manager Nema Etheridge
Manager Nema Etheridge
Community Development Director Ben Andrews
Community Development Director Ben Andrews

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - One business in Americus will soon be moving downtown, thanks to financial help from the city.

City leaders are encouraging growth in the small business sector, and they're using a low interest loan as a tool to bring that growth more rapidly to downtown.

Cafe Campesino has been brewing coffee in Americus for a long time. "We've been at 725 Spring Street, now Millard Fuller Boulevard, for about 15 years," said Sales and Marketing Manager Nema Etheridge.

 The company has been roasting its own coffee since then, and opened the coffee shop seven years ago.

But the shop is located several blocks from downtown, and the city is working to revitalize the historic area.

"A lot of our citizens said that they felt downtown was what showed the community was vibrant, and they wanted to see that focus on downtown," said Americus Community Development Director Ben Andrews.

The city is now using a revolving door loan system to encourage that growth, and Cafe Campesino is the latest recipient of a $40,000 loan.

"The city's support for the revolving loan fund, and to be able to offer us a loan at a great interest rate, is just another example of how the community is ready to support small business," said Etheridge.

"It's really a good tool. Usually we like to partner with a bank or another organization and provide that extra bit of financing for somebody that needs just a little bit of extra from what they can get at a bank normally," said Andrews.

The bank will match that loan for a total of $80,000 that the business will use to finish their new spot downtown. It's a place Cafe Campesino is excited to be.

"Having multiple businesses downtown is the best way to make a location a destination," said Etheridge.

Meaning this mainstay, Americus business will soon be doing this in a new spot.

Etheridge says all of the work at the new location will be done by local contractors in an effort to keep that loan money right in Americus.
The interest rate for the loans are and five percent.  You can apply for one of those loans at the Americus Welcome Center.

Copyright  2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.