If you have driven through the City of Hardy recently, you may have noticed some changes to local businesses happening within the city.
According to Hardy’s Mayor Jason Jackson, the city is seeing a lot of remodeling happening within its business district.
“There are stores all up and down the street right now that are closed but if you look [closer] they’re actually getting a face lift. I think this year will be a tough year for us revenue wise as far as taxes coming in but, by next year, we’re looking at six or seven new businesses opening in Hardy,” Jackson said.
Jackson said although some business owners suffered losses due to fire damage or chose to close their doors, the city still saw an increase in the city’s tax base.
“Next year we’re planning on a large uptake,” Jackson said. “The Dollar Store is projecting $1 million a year in sales; Casey’s is probably going to run closer to about $2 million in sales,” Jackson said, noting he was uncertain of the revenue which would be generated by the many incoming businesses on Main Street and within city limits.
With new restaurants and stores opening in Hardy later this year, Jackson said it will be an economic boost and not only help the city itself but will be beneficial to the citizens who will be able to obtain gainful employment from the new businesses opening.
“You get more businesses; you’re going to get more people in here; more jobs. That will be one of the biggest things is that people will come in and see more stores filling up. The people buying the stores are doing quality work to their buildings,” Jackson said.
When asked what the city was doing to make a business friendly climate, Jackson said the city was applying for grants in order to make improvements.
“Right now we’re working on a grant for $200,000 and another for $100,000. We’re planning to put $100,000 into the streets this year. We have a lot of money coming in and those grants, we’ll get an answer back on this month. The street funds we have secured though. We’ve got the money secured for new sidewalks in cooperation with the business owners. We’re going to start in the spring on fixing the broken sidewalks and repairing unsafe areas,” Jackson said. “The other is $200,000 for crosswalks and things we’ll hopefully have coming in. Everyone is pitching in to make it work.”
Jackson said he has also noticed a trend of businesses making an active effort to cater to the desire of the public.
“They’re trying to follow the trend of what people want from Jonesboro and the bigger cities,” Jackson said.
Although many incoming businesses are still under construction, the majority are slated to open later this year.