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Economic development in south Fulton sees growth
by Nneka M. Okona
June 13, 2012 12:58 PM | 1184 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
Kieosha Bradley of Union City looks over umbrellas and rain caps inside the newly opened Below 5 store located at 3612 Marketplace Blvd. in East Point.
Staff / Joe Livingston
Kieosha Bradley of Union City looks over umbrellas and rain caps inside the newly opened Below 5 store located at 3612 Marketplace Blvd. in East Point.
One wouldn’t know an economic meltdown once severely halted the economy in south Fulton — at least not judging by the current growth period.

Camp Creek Marketplace, in the city of East Point, is one example.

On June 1, Five Below, a national retailer that offers accessories, games and fitness equipment at a $5 and below price point, opened its doors in the city.

None of this, however, is of any surprise to Dyan Matthews, President and CEO of the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

“Just watching Camp Creek Marketplace still thriving and booming I think has given a lot of people in the retail area reassurance to go ahead and open up that restaurant or nail salon because businesses are making it,” she said.

For Five Below, putting a store in the South Fulton area meant something for them as well.

“The opening of these seven Atlanta-area stores represents our second major market expansion this year,” said Tom Vellios, CEO and co-founder of Five Below, in a press release.

Matthews pinpointed a few key areas where there has also been growth, aside from retail.

“The growth areas are definitely the logistics companies and entertainment, such as movie and film production,” she said. “Manufacturing is also continuing to increase in South Fulton.”

Small businesses bore the brunt of decline in the area. Many of the previous business owners closed shop only to go the franchise route so they would have more support and structure in their venture.

“It’s been hard for some of them,” she said. “Some of them are still hanging on.”

Aside from the retail word, Matthews said there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful about the current and future economic climate of South Fulton.

“Before the economy slowed down, South Fulton was on the rise as far as commercial and residential developments,” she said. “There were several projects that had already broken ground and were put on hold.”

Most recently, Matthews said, many of those projects are starting to move forward from the stalemate they have sat in for the past four or five years.

The South Fulton Chamber of Commerce is doing their part, as well, to ensure that the future is more prosperous for the area.

Matthews named a South Fulton marketing guide that will be released by the end of July, a newly launched corporate ambassadors program and forming connections with the Fulton Community Improvement District as beneficial.
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