A total of 1,324 new licenses have been granted this year, which is down 14.5 percent from this time in 2011. At this point last year, 1,548 new licenses were granted throughout the county.
In 2011, a total of 1,822 new licenses were granted, which was an increase from the 1,746 issued in 2010. The figures include licenses issued by the county government, as well as the six cities in Cherokee.
With summer just behind us and the holidays approaching, Pamela Carnes, president and CEO of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, said she expects the number of new business licenses to continue to fluctuate.
“The presidential election just around the corner causes the numbers to be skewed as well,” she said.
“Potential business owners are faced with consumers spending habits being out of sync in the summer followed by shoppers looking for high profile sales during the holidays so neither season is necessarily the most opportune time to celebrate a grand opening. Of late, I’ve heard quite a few business leaders state that waiting until after the election to make most any financial move is the right move.”
For the month of September, unincorporated Cherokee County issued 44 licenses. It issued 78 in August. A total of 770 have been issued this year, according to the county.
The city of Canton granted six licenses in September, down from 18 in August. So far in 2012, a total of 174 have been issued by the city.
In September, the city of Woodstock issued six licenses, which is significantly down from the 20 licenses the city approved the previous month. There have been 162 licenses issued so far this year in Woodstock.
The city of Holly Springs issued six new licenses in September, down from 16 licenses in August. A total of 95 licenses have been issued this year.
Presently, the Holly Springs City Council is discussing where to place new signage to designate its downtown area. According to city officials, the goal of the signage is to attract new businesses downtown prior to beginning construction of the new town center.
The proposed downtown area is zoned as a town center district with a geographic center at the intersection of Hickory Road, Holly Street and Holly Springs Parkway.
Though not located downtown, Karen Greisman recently opened one of the city’s six newest businesses that were granted licenses in September. Bargain Boutique, which opened on Oct. 1, is now located in the Publix shopping center on Highway 5 at East Cherokee Drive next to Sally’s.
The store sells ladies’ fashion jewelry, scarves, handbags, clothing, men’s shirts, ties and other accessories and will be open for the holidays.
“Our business model is to offer trendy, high quality merchandise at discount prices, while keeping the personal touch and atmosphere of a small store,” said Karen Greisman.
No new licenses were granted in September in the city of Ball Ground, which issued just two licenses in August. Last year, 105 licenses were issued.
“Sorry to say we didn’t issue any for the month of September,” said City Clerk Karen Jordan.
No new licenses were issued in September in the city of Waleska. None were issued in August either. There have been a total of 18 issued for the year, according to the city.
The city of Nelson has not issued any business licenses this year and none last year, according to the city clerk’s office.