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New $10,000 grants help keep Georgia businesses open

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 18:22:40-05

GEORGIA (WTXL) — On the streets of South Georgia, signs in store windows blink 'we're open' as new plans from the cities hope to keep it that way.

"In October, we applied for a main street innovation grant," Valdosta Main street Director Ellen Hill said. "It was a Georgia specific grant that five cities got."

The five cities that got the grant include Thomasville, Tifton, Athens, Tybee Island and Valdosta.

Hill said each grant is $10,000, but her city doubled it to $20,000 thanks to a donation from Georgia Power.

She said her team plans to use the money as part of a shop local marketing campaign.

"Introduce them to the store owners, show them a little bit [of the store]," Hill said. "Show them that they are open for business and willing for them to come in and remind them it's really important to support the local businesses at this time."

In the City of Thomasville, Director of Economic Development April Norton said the city hadn't announced their plans with the money. Still, city leaders plan to use it to continue new ways to support local businesses like their downtown dollars program.

"It's a program that we've had established for quite some time and has really gained quite an impact," Norton said. "Just this week alone, we've had nearly $30,000 in downtown dollars in support of our small business."

Norton said this weekend is its last push to shop local before the holidays with sip and shop and Victorian Christmas.