Fri, April 12, 2024

Local agency reports tremendous business growth last year

Natonia Tillman loves owning and operating a downtown business because it’s not too far from other parts of the city, such as South Augusta.

Tillman owns 10Twenty-Eight, a business center and networking lounge located at 1028 Broad St., which was one of 47 businesses that opened in downtown Augusta last year. Those openings contributed to more than $93 million in private investments in that area.

“It puts us in an area that’s centrally located,” she said. “It’s also an area where there’s a lot of foot traffic, because people are down here for other events, like First Friday.”


Other businesses that opened in 2022 include Manny’s Sports Off Broad, Augusta Cigar Club, Tacocat, and Pho-Ramen’L. Downtown Development Authority of Augusta Project Coordinator, Katherine Bonner said it’s exciting to see so many new brick-and-mortar businesses opening downtown in the wake of the pandemic.

“A lot of the retail businesses you see started out as e-commerce, and some of them have a hybrid model,” Bonner said.

She said each new business builds its own unique community in the area.

“We are vibrant, eclectic, surprising, and open for business,” Bonner said. “The tapestry is woven from every single person and single business that starts its roots here.”

In addition, 11 businesses, such as The Book Tavern and Mellow Mushroom, expanded by moving into larger locations.

“We love small businesses, but expansions are incredibly exciting for us, and, of course, the business owners,” she said.

Through a partnership with Georgia Power, the DDA was able to award a total of $45,000 in façade grants to nine businesses that helped to improve the appearance of those businesses.

“We’ve seen Pho-Ramen’L and Tacocat change the aesthetics of their locations,” Bonner said. “We’re looking at how we can increase the visibility of downtown.”

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