GEORGIANA, Ala. (WSFA) - Georgiana is about to get a healthy economic boost this summer and what a great time for that to happen against the backdrop of a punishing pandemic.
It’s no secret the pandemic railroaded many towns and businesses across the country and Georgiana is no exception.
Georgiana could very well serve as a beacon hope to other cities that a new beginning may be around the corner. Family Dollar is just three months away from moving in where Fred’s used to be.
“I’m excited. The city council is excited. It’s gonna help our economy,” said Georgiana Mayor Jerome Antone.
Mayor Antone says the new Family Dollar should open in the July-August time frame. The mayor says he stayed in close contact with the property owner who helped bring in Family Dollar.
And not far away in downtown Georgiana, which has seen better days, former Marine Ray Van Cor is looking to open up a martial arts center and later a diner. The war veteran sees the pandemic as just another battle to plow through.
“I hate to be told I can’t. You know what I’m saying? It’s a Marine thing. Charge on,” said Van Cor.
Back at what will be the Family Dollar store, the vacancy left by Fred’s will soon become a distant memory.
When Fred’s left about a year ago, it left a gaping hole in the city budget to the tune of $15,000 per month in terms of lost sales tax revenues. You can only imagine what that did to this town of around 1,700.
“Well, we had to cut back on maintenance,” Antone said.
James Blackmon for one knows all about change. Change is constant.
“This is big news. I believe our future looks good. It’ll never be what it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago," he said.
Maybe the small city in Butler County won’t go back in time, but Georgiana is looking ahead with two new businesses on the way in spite of the pandemic because the town keeps hanging on.