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Gen. Courtney Hodges Boulevard in Perry now included as part of Downtown Development Authority

Business owners along the street will now be able to use downtown development authority perks when applying for a loan.
PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - There's a good chance residents in Perry will start to see changes along General Courtney Hodges Boulevard. City council recently approved the expansion of the downtown development authority to the area.

Local business owners say it's an opportunity to bring in more customers, which means more dollars for the city.

On a typical day, Jeff Bone will see dozens of customers looking to get a new tire.

He's the owner of the wholesale tire company in Perry.

After 21 years on Courtney Hodges Boulevard, Bone says the opportunity to spice things up is something he's definitely interested in.

"I think it's going to be a very good thing for us small businesses. I'm proud to see it. Makes me excited to get up every morning and come to work," Bone said. 

The "it" Bone is talking is about, is a new plan for the expansion of the downtown development authority to the area which will create opportunities for businesses to take out lower interest loans.

The goal of all of this is to make businesses better up and down Courtney Hodges Boulevard.  Businesses say they're already thinking about taking out loans to make their storefronts even better.

"The primary purpose of this is to merge the groups and have a smooth transition both aesthetically and business wise from the fairgrounds to the center of downtown," city manager, Lee Gilmour said. 

He says better loans are only one part of the plan...

"The longer term is that they're going to be directly involved in some of the master planning process and then propose changes that will benefit the business owners and property owners, both downtown and on the Courtney Hodges Corridor," Gilmour said. 

Bone says he's seen his fair share of ups and downs and is happy to see something new.


"I think it's fair to say that us small businesses are really kind of taking it on the chin with the economy, and so with the local leadership stepping up to the plate to help us out...that's outstanding," Bone said. 

It's a plan, officials won't only make more dollars, but also makes sense. 

The plan won't affect taxes at all for business owners in the area. 

Gilmour says owners can already apply for loans to fix up their storefronts. 

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