Main Street Statesboro and the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority held their annual meeting at The Hall last week.
The meeting served to give downtown merchants and community leaders an update on our downtown’s progress during 2017.
Executive Director Allen Muldrew, along with members of his board and staff, reported on highlights of the year, which included a total of 129 events hosted, which brought more than 70,000 visitors downtown, not including the 80,000 or so additional visitors drawn downtown by the Averitt Center for the Arts.
With a full-time staff of two, they rely heavily on volunteers to pull off all of their events. During 2017, 7,651 volunteers hours were given to support the DSDA. They helped oversee 19 businesses either entering or expanding in downtown, which created 48 new jobs.
One highlight for the year was receiving the Georgia Exceptional Main Street designation by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Muldrew also announced a lease was secured on land for a new downtown dog park. Plans are moving forward for the park in downtown Statesboro, adjacent to the Willie McTell Trail.
Each year the DSDA presents the “Best Brick” awards to individuals and businesses who have made a tremendous impact on Downtown. These awards include an engraved black plaque attached to an actual brick recycled from downtown renovation projects.
The most Creative Expansion Award was given to Three Tree Coffee Roasters, represented by owner Philip Klayman. Their expansion included moving their roasting operation into space adjoining their retail operation. The expansion has added a distinct experience and established a lasting impression on their customers. This destination business caffeinates the community and brings a taste of the world to downtown.
The Downtown Visionary Award was given to Jason Boyles with the City of Statesboro. This award is given to an individual that has innovative ideas about what the future of Statesboro will or could be like. Jason makes it possible for the DSDA to work in collaboration with the City of Statesboro. Through his knowledge and expertise, the DSDA has been able to work on their initiatives. He is also a member of the 2018 Leadership Southeast Georgia class.
Home Builders Association of Statesboro was the recipient of the Teamwork Brick Award, because of their investment of time and resources to spur economic development in downtown. They have been great team players and have been an integral part of the neighborhood revitalization downtown.
The Best Downtown Supporter and Volunteer award was presented to Phyllis Thompson. It is given annually to a supporter that has gone above and beyond with tremendous efforts and contributions both professionally and personally over the years to promote and strengthen downtown Statesboro.
As the “best downtown supporter and volunteer,” Thompson was recognized for her diligent work with the Boro Blue Mile project and America’s Best Communities competition. Thompson loves our community and our businesses and community love her, too.
The 2018 Entrepreneur award was presented to Al Chapman, highlighting his success as a businessman and innovator. Al has been a forerunner in redeveloping the entrance to downtown, Main Street and the Boro Blue Mile. His businesses are Gnat’s Landing and Del Sur Taqueria & Cantina.
Muldrew said, “The continued success downtown relies on the commitment of the merchants, our partner agencies and most importantly the continued support of our citizens to support downtown merchants and events. The merchants and I hope to see you all downtown shopping, dining and being entertained soon!”