Mom & Pop Stops in Downtown Macon
Downtown Macon has seen a spike in new businesses in recent years. As the area grows, some establishments have moved out while others patiently wait for economic change.
If you’re driving down Macon's Cherry Street, redevelopment is evident and the Macon- Bibb Urban Development Authority is trying to make sure that trend continues, responsibly.
Alex Morrison is the Executive Director for the organization and says small businesses should follow their Business Plan to the letter. "If you are analyzing the market correctly, you're in a good financial position, you're sticking with the business plan and acknowledging that owning a small business can be tough at time,” he adds.
Ladies boutiques have had a hard time keeping their doors open, with two closing, Evny Ladies Boutique and Pink Chief Boutique, and one, Ginger Michelle, moving away.
But Why? Paige Brooks works at Ginger Michelle and says the business needed a change. "We needed a little pick up in business and things like that, and downtown had kind of slowed down a little bit," she adds.
Ginger Michelle used to be located on First Street in downtown Macon this year they've moved to north Macon were they say their business is looking up.
"Things have been great with foot traffic with Publix next door. We get a lot of moms saying we were shopping so we decided to stop in," says Brooks.
There’s a different story for a ladies boutique located less than a block away from Ginger Michelle’s former location on First Street. Dot's Forget- Me- Knots has been in business for ten years on Cherry Street and owner Dot Ridley says she's not going anywhere.
"What I hear from customers is they enjoy coming down town and they don't have to worry about parking they can park right out front," says Ridley. She adds that the redevelopment near her is encouraging and that all Maconites should join in on the downtown movement.
"I think it's growing and we have a lot of good things going on downtown that people don't really know because they don't come down here," she adds.
The Urban Development Authority, along with other government entities hopes that people will be inspired by the growth. "I'd like to think that more people would like to take that bet because I really do believe that down town is about to pop," says Morrison.
Organizations like the University of Georgia small business center, NewTown Macon, and Main Street Macon are just a few of the resources out there to help with small business start-ups.
Dannenberg lofts are under way with more than 100 new places to live in downtown Macon, Morrison says entrepreneurs have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.