Main Street reports three business expansions, one new retail store

COVINGTON -- Main Street Covington board members gave a quarterly report to both the Covington City Council and Board of Commissioners this week.

Andrea Smith, owner of Square Perk Cafe, presented the report to city officials and Pat Cavanaugh, general manager of The Covington News, presented to commissioners.

The board reported three business expansions - Computer Troubleshooters, Candlelight Bridal and United Business Service, and one new business opening, Dizzy Dame, an apparel shop, which opened just after the end of the first quarter, on the corner of Church and Monticello streets.

In addition, there are three active prospects for the downtown area; two of those are food/dining and one is retail.

There are two properties for sale, five for lease and three office suites available. No businesses closed during the first quarter.

There was one special event held, the Black History Month celebration, that drew 100 attendees. Volunteer hours were reported at 180, with an estimated $1,870 saved due to volunteer labor.

"There's a tide changing with business owners in the downtown district," Smith told the City Council, adding that the Main Street board sees 2013 as an opportunity "to take the bull by the horns."

The board increased promotion of the downtown with the production of the "Dine Local, Shop Local, Be Local" brochure as well as a new map of the downtown district for display in the outdoor notice board outside Square Perk. In addition, Taste of Downtown Covington, promoting downtown eating establishments, was held April 25.

Beautification efforts have also been made, as Smith launched an initiative in partnership with Mayfield Hardware to upgrade business owners' planters. The traffic islands and the Square Park have also been given new top soil and a new irrigation system.

Finally, the Main Street program completed a 10-point annual assessment for the Office of Downtown Development of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and was accredited for 2013 as a National Main Street Program.