A night of honor

Main Street Cov­ing­ton looks ahead to boom­ing busi­ness in 2013

The Covington News - - The second front - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

Main Street Cov­ing­ton pre­sented sev­eral awards to busi­nesses mak­ing an im­pact in down­town Cov­ing­ton and shared their ex­cite­ment about the year ahead at their an­nual gen­eral meet­ing Thurs­day night.

Main Street Cov­ing­ton board chair Dan Walden shared some of the or­ga­ni­za­tions’ ac­com­plish­ments for the year and also com­mended mem­bers on the Main Street Cov­ing­ton board of di­rec­tors.

Walden said Main Street Cov­ing­ton is a non­profit vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion with vol­un­teers from busi­nesses, res­i­dents and pro­fes­sion­als around Cov­ing­ton.

He said the 2011 state award for Ex­cel­lence in Down­town De­vel­op­ment they re­ceived from the Depart­ment of Community Af­fairs and the Ge­or­gia Down­town As­so­ci­a­tion would not have been pos­si­ble if it weren’t for busi­nesses and vol­un­teers pro­mot­ing the down­town area.

“This is a group of folks from all over Ge­or­gia that know what a good, vi­brant down­town is sup­posed to look like. They know how main street or­ga­ni­za­tions are sup­posed to be run,” Walden said. “It wouldn’t have hap­pened with­out vol­un­teers or board mem­bers like you all. We have a lot to be proud of, we re­ally do.”

Af­ter giv­ing mem­bers the an­nual re­port, Walden be­gan an award pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony.

South­ern Heart­land Art Gallery was pre­sented with the Emerg­ing Main Street Part­ner Award. An­drea Smith, owner of Square Perk Café was rec­og­nized as the Main Street Busi­ness Owner of the Year.

City of Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston pre­sented The Golden Brush Award to Sam Ram­sey, the owner of Ram­sey’s Fur­ni­ture. Be­fore pre­sent­ing the award to Ram­sey, John­ston thanked all of the busi­nesses for their hard work and took a minute to talk about the pos­si­ble growth com­ing to the city and New­ton County.

“New­ton County and the city of Cov­ing­ton are get­ting ready to go through a boom like you have never seen be­fore,” John­ston said. “I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to go to close to 12 to 15 ad­di­tional prospect meet­ings with com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in com­ing here since the Bax­ter an­nounce­ment. I be­lieve be­tween the end of this year or def­i­nitely the first quar­ter of next year, we will be an­nounc­ing an­other 1,500 jobs com­ing to­ward New­ton County and Cov­ing­ton,” John­ston said. “Now is the time to shine ev­ery light bulb and get ready.”

McKibben Mu­sic Store was the re­cip­i­ent of the Down­town Cov­ing­ton Cham­pion Award. New­ton County Com­mis­sion Chair Kathy Mor­gan pre­sented that award to the busi­ness. Be­fore pre­sent­ing the award, Mor­gan agreed with John­ston say­ing that she also sees more job an­nounce­ments com­ing to New­ton County and Cov­ing­ton. She said com­pa­nies like Bax­ter choose to come to the area be­cause of the wel­com­ing peo­ple in the community.

“They told us they choose this lo­ca­tion be­cause of the city of Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County,” Mor­gan said. “Ku­dos to you all. The square has al­ways been a won­der­ful place to come. The en­vi­ron­ment is great. Each of you just be­lieve in our community and be­lieve in your busi­nesses,” she said. “You are the peo­ple who sell our community, not us.”

Cur­rent Events Pro­duc­tions re­ceived Main Street Cov­ing­ton’s PopUp Award. Main Street Cov­ing­ton vice-chair Serra Phillips closed the pro­gram by talk­ing about the year ahead. Phillips told her story about grow­ing up in Cov­ing­ton and shared her ex­cite­ment about the growth of busi­nesses down­town.

“Down­town has de­vel­oped. We’re the heart­beat of Cov­ing­ton. We are stronger than ever. We’re more able to do things and reach more peo­ple than ever. Our board is mov­ing for­ward in a dy­namic way,” she said.

Phillips also said celebri­ties and blog­gers are writ­ing about Cov­ing­ton and its busi­nesses; she said that’s some­thing the community should get ex­cited about. She said next year Main Street Cov­ing­ton looks for­ward to mak­ing their events big­ger and bet­ter for the en­tire community.

Danielle Ever­son/ The Cov­ing­ton News

For­mer Cov­ing­ton Mayor Sam Ram­sey and cur­rent Mayor Ron­nie John­ston at the Main Street Cov­ing­ton awards Thurs­day night.

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