MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - More and more retailers have opened their doors in downtown Moultrie.
And according to city leaders, $1.8 million was invested in 2016 - not just to provide a service but to be part of the family-friendly city vibes.
"People in downtown Moultrie are so nice, they've all been welcoming to us. It's like a big, happy family downtown Moultrie," said AERO owner Kayla Buhler.
Buhler opened her third store back in November 2015, and hired three employees. The other two locations are in Tifton and Valdosta.
"I met with Amy and our property owner Harrison and fell in love and here we are," said Buhler.
Downtown Development Director Amy Johnson is the deal maker bringing business to the area.
"This is one of the most exciting times that I can remember in being in downtown," said Johnson.
There were 14 new businesses and 63 new jobs added, and the majority were office companies including Affinity which brought in 31 jobs.
"Those types of businesses locating in your downtown that's going to drive the creation of more restaurants and more retail," explained Johnson.
"So many small towns seem to be stagnant or even going down. Moultrie is on the rise," said City Manager Peter Dillard, and that's thanks to public and private funds coming into the heart of the city
"Amy is great with our downtown she puts together all kinds of events for us and really brings the public downtown to shop," remarked Buhler.
Moultrie City leaders said there's a restaurant opening in the coming weeks that will bring new jobs.
Also, they're working on a new project to recruit and retain local businesses.