PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A lot of money was invested in properties in Downtown Paragould last year.
The Main Street Paragould organization reports that a total investment of $1,617,404 was made in the area during 2017.
That includes $120,871 on building façades, $779,683 spent on other building improvements, properties sold for $712,000 and $4,850 spent on upgrades in Centennial Park.
Main Street Paragould Director Gina Jarrett expects that momentum to continue in 2018.
"Northeast Arkansas [and] Paragould are in a great place right now," Jarrett said. "We see a lot of good things happening and Downtown is a big part of that as well because of just the atmosphere of the area. The more that we can bring, the more diversity that we can bring, that just means the more people that we bring."
Seven new businesses opened in Downtown Paragould last year, creating 21 new jobs.
"People that work here every day are diners, they're shoppers, they're the people that walk our streets during their lunch hour or after work and take advantage of what we have," Jarrett said. "So that's a great thing to see those employment numbers up."
Aside from that, there were eight existing businesses that moved their location to downtown.
It is a trend that seems to be continuing as Rouge Spa and Salon announced Tuesday that they will soon move to West Court Street.
Owner Brittany Murray said she began her career as an esthetician in Downtown Paragould and is excited to move her own business back down there.
"We love the atmosphere of downtown," Murray said. "We love all the events that they have, the culture that downtown brings, the visibility for us as a business. It's a great place for us to grow and expand our business."
Murray said her business will get their clientele spending more time downtown, which will also benefit other shops.