Start with the idea

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Among the topics discussed by the Bainbridge City Council at its recent annual retreat were ways the city can attract more jobs and encourage small business development, especially downtown.

While downtown Bainbridge has about an 85 percent occupancy in its buildings, there is still work to be done to attract more shoppers and traffic-heavy businesses in the city’s center.

Mayor Edward Reynolds said he had attended a seminar on small business development where he learned about the idea of creating a small business incubator. Reynolds envisioned the city government restoring an old vacant building—like the Nelson Building it owns—and helping new businesses get established through a low-rent, entrepreneur-friendly program.

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It’s a good idea, one that would cost some money but also transform downtown Bainbridge. What’s missing from our downtown is the buzzing activity that places like Thomasville and Moultrie have.

Reach a critical mass of people coming to and from businesses that attract frequent customers—the younger, the better—and downtown will start growing with a momentum of its own.