In spite of the economy, business in McDuffie County is on the rise, said Forward McDuffie Director Mike Carrington.
"Railroad Street just had a boon this past year," Mr. Carrington said. "I'm glad to see a little activity there, even though the economy is down."
New businesses on the downtown street this year include Gramps Stamps and Antiques relocating to the corner and their former location is now occupied by Still Waters Professional Counseling, Inc. C&S Variety Store is opened next to Stephanie's Salon, and It's a Southern Thing will soon be opened next to the old Covington Credit building.
To go along with the new sidewalks, street lights, trees and plants downtown, Mr. Carrington said some buildings will soon be fixed up, too. Camellia Partners recently acquired a loan to renovate the Hughes Building, the old pool hall building and the building in between them on Main Street.
"I'm happy about that," Mr. Carrington said. "Hopefully, they can fix them up and attract some buyers, bringing more business down here."
Around the county, Mr. Carrington said he still is happy about the "good luck we've had" with the three industries coming last year: Acclaim Lighting, Reliant Medical and Roberts Paving.
In addition to the upcoming Hampton Inn, Mr. Carrington said he still is hearing from several hotel groups, although none have committed. And since the passage of the Sunday alcohol sales at the general election last week, Mr. Carrington has been in contact with several national chain restaurants.
"It's great for the economy to be in such a bad fix and we're still getting nibbles," he said.
Mr. Carrington added that the county's IT department recently installed a new tool that allows him to show property to prospective buyers without ever leaving the office.