COVINGTON — Two new businesses have opened on the Square in Covington, and there are four prospects — two retail and two restaurants — that could open in the future, according to the chair of the Main Street Covington Board of Directors.
Square Fit, an exercise studio on Washington Street, and Just Dream, a refurbished furniture and interior design store on Clark Street, are the new businesses, said Serra Phillips during her quarterly report to the Covington City Council.
Though three businesses have closed — Fantasy Jewelry Box and Touched by an Angel Hair Services and one, United Bank, has relocated, Phillips said there are four active prospects and two conceptual projects that could locate downtown.
“There are still people wanting to fill our doors and our vacancies downtown, which is incredibly positive that they want to come and be in our district,” Phillips said.
There are two properties for sale, four available to lease and three office suites currently available.
There were 22 permits issued in the downtown and 12 special events in April, May and June, and more than 6,500 people attended events downtown in those months, according to the report. There were four days when filming/production took place downtown. A total of 388 volunteer hours were reported, including time planning and preparing for events such as Independence in the Park.
“I think that shows that a lot of people are invested in the program as well as in our town and our community,” Phillips said.
Phillips thanked former director Josephine Kelly for her 12 years of service. Kelly’s resignation was effective June 7, but city officials requested she stay on to handle administrative work associated with Independence in the Park until that event was over.
“What a wonderful asset that we’ve had her for 12 years and I know that she’s going to do great things in the future,” Phillips said.
Phillips said Kelly and one downtown business, Dizzy Dame, will be highlighted in a video about downtowns for a new generation that will air at the September annual conference of the Georgia Municipal Association.
Planning Director Randy Vinson is currently serving as interim director.
Phillips said it’s been “fruit basket turnover” with the Main Street board recently, with five member rotating off the board. The board still has two vacancies; one a Chamber of Commerce appointment previously held by retired Tourism Director Clara Deemer and the other, an at-large vacancy. Current board members are Nicole Greer, Amy Hill, Susan Kirk, Allan Seebaran, Andrea Smith, Denise Spires, Susan Thompson, Treasa Waters and Phillips.
“We’re excited. It’s a whole new group, a whole new face and a whole new transition,” she said.