Central Atlanta Progress | Small Business Week 2024

Page 1

Celebrating National Small Business Week

April 28 – May 4

Downtown Atlanta has always been home to small and independent businesses since its earliest days as a railroad terminus. That ecosystem continues to thrive, grow, and diversify as more than 300 small businesses operate daily in Downtown. With more growth on the horizon –including the new tech hub at South Downtown, the massive Centennial Yards project, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup – the city center is poised to evolve once again. In this special section, you’ll find out more about the entrepreneurial spirit flourishing in Downtown Atlanta.

Claudio Furgiuele, Rueben’s Deli Brett Teilhaber, Friedman’s Shoes Keisa Manning, MochaPops Matt Bhamaraniyama, Tyde Tate Kitchen Community Market Atlanta

A Big Market for Small Businesses

Small businesses are the key to a thriving city center, and Downtown Atlanta is no exception. They embody the unique resiliency that has shaped our city for generations, and they are a vital part

of Downtown’s fabric, offering a distinct sense of place, creating unique experiences, and enhancing the area’s culture and vibrancy.

Above all, Downtown’s small businesses mirror the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and historic roots. With a robust range of over 300 small businesses, Downtown is a viable market because of the high volumes

Hustle and Heart

of foot traffic, spending potential of the consumer base, abundance of small business resources, and availability of diverse retail spaces.

From office employees to concertgoers, Downtown Atlanta thrives on foot traffic activity. In 2023, there were over 71 million visits* to Downtown, spending an average of 6 hours and an average of over 195,000 daily visits in the area. With a residential population of over 33,000, the heart of our city continues to grow and diversify as more housing is built.

The constant influx of employees, students, visitors, and residents boasts a strong consumer base ready to support local businesses. According to Placer.ai, the spending potential of local, state, and national visitors reach almost $1 billion**, making Downtown Atlanta an enticing market for small businesses.

Downtown offers a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem and access to many resources, such as accelerator programs, business coaching, and flexible,

financial assistance to help small businesses thrive. It also offers many retail spaces tailored to diverse needs.

With over 204,417 square feet of available retail space, there is ample room for small businesses to thrive, and Central Atlanta Progress can assist with entrepreneurs’ search for available space and make introductions to landlords.

Whether the retail concept requires a storefront in a retail corridor, a space in the Municipal Market in Sweet Auburn, or a City of Atlanta kiosk, Downtown welcomes small businesses to help shape the community and continue the legacy of entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit AtlantaDowntown.com/Invest

*The total number of visits to Downtown Atlanta includes visits made by employees and non-employees.

** Placer.ai assesses visitors' spending potential by considering the median disposable income of the zip codes they originate from. The more visitors from a specific zip code, the greater its influence on the overall calculation. The daily disposable income of each zip code is used to gauge the economic impact. Placer.ai calculates the annual disposable income of each zip code, weighs it by the number of visitors from that zip code and divides it by 365 to estimate the tourists' accessible spending potential.

Small business owners share—in their own words—why they chose to set up shop in the city center.

Tyde Tate Kitchen

229 Mitchell St. SW Matt Bhamaraniyama

Tell us about Tyde Tate Kitchen. We are a family-owned and operated restaurant located at 229 Mitchell Street in South Downtown. Our menu consists of comfort Thai Food that we love to eat at

home. We opened our first location at Chattahoochee Food Works in April 2021, and our South Downtown location was opened back in April 2023.

What dish would you recommend to a new customer?

Most people like to go for Pad Thai, but personally I always recommend our Basil Chicken. It’s stir-fried minced chicken with garlic, Thai chili, basil, bell peppers, and green beans served on a bed of white rice with a fried egg to top it off!

Why did you choose to do business in Downtown Atlanta?

Downtown Atlanta has always been a very interesting location for us. Aside from not having many Thai spots around here, we also saw the potential that this area has with all the new developments that are

happening. With the World Cup coming in 2026, we knew Downtown Atlanta was where we wanted to be. The best thing about being here is the different clientele we get coming through the door. We get guests from the airport, fans who are going to sporting events, concert goers, and folks who are attending conventions.

Do you have a favorite Downtown memory?

My favorite memory of Downtown would have to be hanging out at the MercedesBenz Stadium, especially during Atlanta United games!

What makes you excited about the future of Downtown Atlanta?

I'm most excited about all the new developments that are in the works from Atlanta Ventures to Centennial Yards. Downtown Atlanta is finally getting the love it deserves.

Reuben’s Deli

57 Broad St. NW Claudio Furgiuele

Tell us about Reuben’s Deli.

Operating since 1986 and voted “Best Deli in Georgia,” we are Atlanta’s only NY-style deli.

How many people work at Reuben’s? We have 7 employees.

42 | APRIL 2024 RoughDraftAtlanta.com
Central Atlanta Progress gathering of Downtown business leaders at Wild Leap brewery. (Photo by JMF Communications)

The Art of Sophistication

Tailored for discerning travelers, yet approachable for all. Our hotel blends modern event venues, refined service, premium wellness amenities, and eight elevated dining options to create an overall meaningful experience.

Delve into our welcoming world where The Art of Sophistication thrives.

APRIL 2024 | 43 RoughDraftAtlanta.com

What sandwich would you recommend to a new customer?

The Reuben or the “Old Tuesday” off our secret menu: hickory turkey, provolone, capicola, pepperoni, served on freshly baked ciabatta with lettuce, tomato, Greek mayo, and the works.

Why did you choose to do business in Downtown Atlanta?

I love the vibe and the hustle of the city.

What is the best thing about being in Downtown Atlanta?

The diversity of the people and the community aspect of this diversity. It’s a small, wonderful community.

Do you have a favorite Downtown memory?

I ran into a person we helped when they were homeless, now they have moved into an apartment and have a job.

Friedman’s Shoes

209 Mitchell St. SW

Brett Teilhaber

Tell us about Friedman’s Shoes.

Open for 95 years and located in the same location since 1929, Friedman’s is a familyowned men’s and ladies shoe store selling sizes from 7-22 in men’s and 7-14 in ladies. With its large range of sizes, Friedman’s is known as the place where professional athletes shop!

What’s something you would want a new customer to know about Friedman’s?

While we are best known for carrying large size shoes in our brick-and-mortar store and on LargeFeet.com, we sell all sizes for both men and women.

Why did you choose to do business in Downtown Atlanta?

My grandfather, Phil Friedman, opened a shoe repair business in 1929 and my father, Bruce Teilhaber, purchased the store in the

Community Market Atlanta

Every 1st and 3rd Thursday on the Broad Street Boardwalk

Alice Serres

Tell us about Community Market Atlanta.

Community Market Atlanta is a space of support and kindness for LGBTQIA+ and ally creatives looking to expand their business, find community, and celebrate queer joy. The nearly two-year old market was created by artists to gain income, share


57 Forsyth St.

Keisa Manning

Tell us about MochaPops. We are a premier pop and hot beverage company with a focus on vegan and wellness products. We also offer custom pops and private label. We started MochaPops in 2015 and opened our brickand-mortar shop in the Healey Building in 2018 where we have a total of five employees.

Do you have any special seasonal pops at the moment?

We have a catering menu of 50 flavors and regularly cycle those out seasonally so that you will eventually try all of them. This spring and summer will include Key Lime Pie, Caramel Crunch, Raspberry Blackberry, Ginger Peach, Orange Creamsicle and a few surprises!

Why did you choose to do business in Downtown Atlanta?

We are Atlanta natives and have lived in the city for years and we wanted to do business in a community that we love. We love the diversity of Downtown. There’s untapped value everywhere.

What is the best thing about being in Downtown Atlanta?

Downtown Atlanta truly thrives on its community and neighbors. There are so many guardians that wake up and polish our city every day, including CAP and ADID and everyone in between. We had a horrible storm one night with tons of debris and fallen leaves and branches everywhere, it was cleaned and repaired by 10:00 am! It’s a community that puts in effort every day. Where there is will and persistence, there is growth.

Do you have a favorite Downtown memory?

There are so many. Everything from the 1996 Olympics, the rebirth of Underground Atlanta, the rebuild of Broad Street, every airing of our civil leaders, parades, celebrations and— oh, meeting my husband James in Downtown!

What makes you excited about the future of Downtown Atlanta?

Atlanta is a special place. It is constantly evolving and growing. We understand how far it’s come and the importance of its culture and footprint. It’s poised to unlock its true potential and we are excited to see it. We have a mayor that’s focused and listens and a community that shows up!

70’s. All 4 sons work in the family business, and we have 8 employees in total.

What is the best thing about being in Downtown Atlanta?

It is once again becoming the heartbeat of Atlanta. Go South Downtown!

Do you have a favorite Downtown memory?

My most favorite memories are coming Downtown to see the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and Flames/Thrashers games!

What makes you excited about the future of Downtown Atlanta?

I did not think I would see the transformation happening in my lifetime. CIM Group took charge with taking the old railroad buildings and starting the Centennial Yards project. Newport comes in to purchase 55 buildings and start the rehab only to hand if off to Atlanta Ventures to take the reins and complete the transformation… and let’s not forget we have high hopes for Underground Atlanta.

skills, and help each other grow year-round!

Why did you choose to bring the market to Downtown?

I believe in Downtown and want to see it thrive into a destination for locals. As a resident of Downtown myself, I believe markets like these were truly missing and so important in creating a life outside of the office and university spaces. I hope we can continue to bring more residents out as well.

What is the best thing about being on the Broad Street Boardwalk?

Seeing all the amazing vendors getting to share with locals and the pulse that

is generated from seeing folks interact, share, and exchange their uniqueness in community with each other. Anywhere from 25 to 35 vendors line the Boardwalk each market.

Do you have a favorite Downtown memory?

The sun is shining, the music is vibing, there's a GSU class change, and we are all in awe of the beauty in the crosssection of nature, people, and art.

What makes you excited about the future of Downtown Atlanta?

The dedication seen from the Atlanta Downtown team and their commitment

to finding folks like us to activate and bring life with true local Atlanta representation.

44 | APRIL 2024 RoughDraftAtlanta.com
5 4 6
APRIL 2024 | 45 RoughDraftAtlanta.com FOLLOW @DOWNTOWNATLANTA CONNECT WITH C.A.P. ON LINKEDIN Stay connected with Central Atlanta Progress There’s a place for you Downtown. Downtown Atlanta is home to over 300 unique businesses! Find them all here: ATLANTADOWNTOWN.COM/EXPERIENCE Subscribe to “Be Downtown,” a monthly newsletter featuring updates about Downtown projects, news, and events. ATLANTADOWNTOWN.COM/SUBSCRIBE Celebrating National Small Business Week April 28 - May 4, 2024

An Ecosystem of Support

Brown Toy Box, headquartered at 57 Forsyth Street, is centering play to disrupt generational poverty by normalizing Black excellence, cultivating curiosity, and building 21st century skills to create pathways to prosperous careers and expand Black children’s ideas for the possibilities for their lives.

Through early exposure to STEAM education, cultural representation and purposeful play, Brown Toy Box develops toys, games, activities, content, and experiences that center and celebrate Black children in an engaging way that will encourage all children to learn from and enjoy.

Invest Atlanta’s relationship with Brown Toy Box founder, Terri Bradley, began four years ago when Terri requested funding through the Atlanta Emerging Markets Inc.’s (AEMI) Civic Impact Loan Fund as she was redefining her business plan and was requesting financial support to relaunch her business by hiring additional staff.  AEMI provided her with $48,000, and since that initial loan she has

been a member of the WEI cohort, moved her offices to the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, partnered with the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, and taken full advantage of all the resources available to entrepreneurs in the Atlanta ecosystem.

Right before the start of the 2021 Christmas season, Brown Toy Box landed a contract and purchase order with Target, which placed their products in 1,700 Target stores nationwide. While that was fantastic news there was one big problem: the company needed financing to manufacture the toys that would be going on Target’s shelves. AEMI partnered with Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) to provide $900,000 of innovative and flexible financing that she needed but was unavailable anywhere else.

Invest Atlanta Small Business Programs

Small business development is one of Invest Atlanta’s biggest investment areas, including a mix of programs to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and expand a business. Supporting small businesses not only creates jobs for Atlanta residents but also enables business owners, including those of color, to build long term wealth and generational prosperity. In 2023, Invest Atlanta provided $9 million in grants and loans to small businesses and supported 1,942 businesses with funding or consulting services. Learn more about these resources at InvestAtlanta.com.

Small Business Loans

Invest Atlanta currently offers 11 small business loan programs to support new and growing businesses. This includes funding for businesses located in disinvested neighborhoods to special purpose loans like paying off debt to programs for minority and female entrepreneurs to name a few of the options available.

Atlanta Open for Business Fund

With a generous $20 million donation from Wells Fargo, Invest Atlanta in collaboration with United Way of Greater Atlanta established the Atlanta Open for Business Fund program. The program helps small business owners build wealth by investing in assets such as commercial space, equipment, and technology. Racially and ethnically diverse business owners who have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic will be an important focus.


ATLinBusiness is a website that provides Atlanta entrepreneurs with all of the information that they need to plan, start, manage, and grow a business. In addition to accessing information, ATLinBusiness allows entrepreneurs to connect with technical assistance specialists at no cost. Technical assistance providers offer hands-on support in key areas like legal, finance and marketing. The site also offers a Marketplace feature to help small businesses make connections with largescale purchasers to expand their buyer networks.

Opportunity Zone State Tax Credits

Businesses can qualify for tax credits within 15 currently active State of Georgia Opportunity Zones in the city of Atlanta, including locations Downtown, where

the local government has undertaken redevelopment and revitalization efforts in certain older commercial and industrial areas. Businesses located in a State of Georgia Opportunity Zone that create business that create two or more jobs inside the city limits may qualify for tax credits of up to $3,500 per job.

Small Business Resource Centers

Part of ATLinBusiness, Invest Atlanta's Small Business Resource Centers are strategically located throughout the city, including a location Downtown at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, to meet business owners where they are. Invest Atlanta small business specialists, who can provide more information about how to access Invest Atlanta's wide range of grants, loans, and technical assistance opportunities.

Sparking Collaboration in Sweet Auburn

Sweet Auburn Works’ (SAW) SPARK Innovation Lab is a place-based economic development program designed to support and enhance retail effectiveness in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. The SPARK Lab was designed to assist Sweet Auburn’s neighborhood retailers, retail landlords, and new or existing retailers eager to call Sweet Auburn their new home.

Since its inception in 2022, the Lab has leveraged the expertise of over 40 graduate students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and provided direct financial assistance to help our neighborhood retailers engage professional technical assistance with


branding and packaging design, interior design and renovations, financial management, and a host of other challenges that affect the health of our retailers. The goal is to ensure there is an ecosystem of services available to directly benefit Sweet Auburn business owners enrolled in the program.

The SPARK Lab will celebrate the SBA’s National Small Business Week from April 28th – May 4th by hosting a pre-shopping event on Saturday, April 27, to kick off the week. Shop, dine, and explore Sweet Auburn to discover apparel, art, and beauty and wellness products to help you look and feel your best.

This year, the SPARK Lab continues to support its existing retailers and search for the new retailers who are ready to open their first business in Sweet Auburn. Applications will soon be accepted for a Fall Cohort of business owners who are interested growing their retail businesses in Sweet Auburn. If you or someone you know is interested in retailing in Sweet Auburn, please contact info@sweetauburnworks.com to receive the Fall application.

46 | APRIL 2024 RoughDraftAtlanta.com
How Invest Atlanta Champions Local Entrepreneurs
Brown Toy Box founder Terri Bradley 7
Credits: Photos 2-5 by AS3 Storytelling courtesy of Central Atlanta Progress. Photos 1, 6, & 7 by JMF Communications courtesy of Central Atlanta Progress.
APRIL 2024 | 47 RoughDraftAtlanta.com
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.