What’s up, Middlesboro? There is a lot coming up downtown

Published 1:23 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

What’s Up Middlesboro? What a great time we had last week at the Grand Opening of Magnolia Blossom. I actually purchased my first Kentucky sweatshirt, and I am excited to wear it. By the end of February we should get to enjoy two more new business openings, make sure to watch here or on Facebook for that information.

We are in the sixth week of 2023, have you made it downtown to shop locally? This is a great week to come down to shop, because the weather has been mild and we have everything you need to make your Valentine’s Day very special. We even have a Valentine’s Day activity – art at Mountain Mugs Craft and Coffee.

This week, I have been working on planning out a few fun events that will be happening this spring. One event that we are working on is our Senior Block Party. I have the opportunity to work with Shae Brock from Middlesboro High School to create this special event for our 2023 graduates. The Block Party will be on Saturday, April 29 there will be entertainment, games, food trucks and lots of fun. I hope that the 2023 Seniors will come have fun and know how proud we are of all of them. On May 20, we have two events on the Avenue – Armed Forces Day concert and Crusin’ the Crater Car Show. There will be great music, yummy food, cool games to play and cool cars . This will definitely be a great time to come hang out with us downtown.

New shops and events are fun and exciting, but they are nothing without community participation. I hope that you will come down by yourself, with your friends, and/or your family and enjoy hanging out in downtown.

With new businesses coming downtown we are filling up available spaces. Right now we only have 2 spaces that are ready to rent, but we have several empty buildings that require some work before they can be rented. So the question is what can we do about that?

There are federal and state tax credit incentives. There is a city tax incentive, plus a dumpster for three days. These are great incentives, but if building owners don’t do anything to get them then they are worth nothing. What do we do to encourage building owners to fix up their buildings? This question is one that I wish I had the answer to. If you made the investment to purchase a building downtown, then I would assume that you wanted to be a part of downtown. I would also assume that you would welcome rental income for your space. Maybe your life situation has changed and you don’t really want to be a part of downtown. Maybe your life is consumed with other commitments and you just don’t have the time to have a place downtown. Maybe it is time to take some time to think about your building and what you want to do. I have buyers for your buildings if you decide you want that. I have information on tax credits and incentives if you decide you want that. There are also renters looking for your buildings too. Downtownmiddlesboro@gmail.com is where you can reach out to me and let me know what you would like to do with your buildings.

I did want to share a cool conversation that I read this week about our downtown: The conversation was between two ladies. The conversation started with “We need to make a trip soon” and the response was: “Omg, yes!!” But my favorite part of the conversation was “Just explore the little shops down there.” I thought it was awesome to see people excited to come visit us downtown. I look forward to hearing and seeing more conversations like this. We do have an incredible community and our downtown truly is a special part of that.

Remember it takes all of us to create a successful downtown and community. I am proud to call Middlesboro home and to call you my friend.