More businesses open downtown after revitalization project

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - There is business growth in one specific area of Batesville after a revitalization project was completed this summer.

The most recent addition to Main Street is a new music venue, which is set to open Saturday.

"This area has a strong food culture and a strong music culture," Main Street Batesville Executive Director Shannon Haney said. "We've got a lot of really talented musicians around here, so I think they will do well for themselves and there is always going to be people interested in listening to live music."

There is also a new restaurant and retail store headed to the area this fall, but the city has not announced what exactly those stores are yet.

Haney said completing the major streetscape project in June is a big part of the renewed interest in downtown.

"You could argue [it is] the catalyst for a lot of the downtown growth," Haney said. "When people started seeing the street being revamped then it got a lot of excitement coming back to downtown. So now that that's finished we're focusing heavily on recruitment."

Haney said she loves that it's all local money being poured into Main Street Batesville instead of outside developers.

"Our partnerships with the local community is what has made us a success story," she said.

There are also incentives for businesses to move downtown, much of which is help getting a store open.

"We have such a support system down here," Haney said. "Our Main Street Batesville organization is under the umbrella of Main Street Arkansas and Main Street America and they provide a lot of resources for local businesses in the form of free design work [including] interior designers, exterior designers, and business consultants. That's all for our downtown businesses to take advantage of at no cost."

Main Street Batesville also provides mini grants every year to help businesses improve their storefronts.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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