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New businesses coming to downtown Cochran

Two new stores will open in early September, including a comic book store.

COCHRAN, Ga. — The city of Cochran in Bleckley County is offering incentives to get tenants into storefronts downtown, and it's working!

They involve state of Georgia tax credits for purchases and renovations, gap financing, and Façade Grants.

The city of 5,000 is seeing new folks with hometown roots put out "open for business" signs.

Mike and Melody Guilmette are some of those folks, and are set to put on a cape and open a comic shop in downtown Cochran.

"We could have gone to Macon or Warner Robins and done really really well with what we sell, but we are older and retired," Mike admitted.

David Canady is the Executive Director of the Downtown Development authority, and he says the Guilmetts and a few more like them are superheroes.

"They don't see that they are part of the future of the economic development for this community and they absolutely are," he said enthusiastically.

A city's downtown is like a first date, you want to make a good impression... 

"This is a main thoroughfare and somebody that might want to open a plant is going to drive through downtown, and so downtown is critical to these rural areas," David described about Main Street.

An old brick building on Whiple Lane is about to turn into an event space, a cigar shop is set to open this weekend, and a Popeyes is coming to town.

David says about 60 percent of store fronts on Main Street are occupied, and the numbers a little higher throughout downtown, but they've had to work hard. 

"Between the economic downtown ten years ago and Covid, it has put a pinch on rural Georgia and places like Cochran," David recalled.  "So with that pinch you've got to do something you can't just look and hope people come.  Ten years from now we're going to have a completely different face, but we've got to start now."

Mike and Melody relish in the past, but they're the face of the future of Cochran.

The new cigar shop opens Friday, and the comic book store opens September 8th.


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