The city is seeing new businesses open up and a few more express interest in coming into the area.
Eight new businesses have opened up this year, all of which have brought more than $750,000 in investments in the downtown area.
One is Downtown Deli Dogs, which opened about a month ago, manager Jessica Rodriguez said.
Downtown Deli Dogs at 250 East Main St. is in the former location of the beloved Olde Towne Hot Dogs and Deli restaurant.
“We wanted to help revitalize downtown Canton,” she said when asked why they opened up downtown.
Other new businesses include Windstream, Soul Food Market, Inlign Chiropractic, Bloom Hair Design, 4th Source, Thinkgate and Autumn Joy Salon.
The new businesses have brought 33 new jobs and $764,000 in investments into the downtown area, said Ginger Garrard, the city’s Main Street Program director, during the Canton City Council’s Thursday night work session.
“Things are looking really good,” Garrard said.
Garrard also said a new business will soon open in the space that Fabiano’s Pizzeria occupied on East Main Street for a little less than a year. She noted the new business, which will be a tavern, is slated to open in early September.
Along with new places to eat and shop, downtown will soon hear Southern gospel groups singing from the Canton Theatre.
Beginning next week, Shady Grove Events will bring some of the most popular southern gospel bands for Canton residents to enjoy.
The Canton Theatre Gospel Series will kick off Saturday as Shady Grove will perform its new debut album “Old Porch Swing.”
Shady Grove Events acts a conduit to bring professional gospel groups to perform in Canton.
Shady Grove Events partner Pastor David Kight of Cornerstone Community Church said the Canton Theatre provides the perfect atmosphere for the audiences to see and hear the performances.
“It’s a great intimate venue,” he said.
Kight will also debut his new CD, “Stories and Offerings,” during Saturday’s performance.
Shady Grove Events has a three-year contract with the Canton Downtown Development Authority, which stipulates it will bring in southern gospel act.
Other acts include The McKameys on Aug. 26, The Kingsmen on Sept. 24, Brian Free & Assurance on Nov. 18 and The Issacs on Dec. 30.
All performances start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, with children 12 and under free.
Kight said ticket sales are going “well,” adding the event will provide an opportunity to southern gospel music lovers to gather in a “peaceful” place and enjoy good music.
“There’s a desire for Canton to be a place where people can gather and not worry about anything,” he added.
Lewis Cline, a member of the DDA, said the upcoming performances is generating an exciting buzz among residents and those vested in the success of the central business district.
He added the partnership between the DDA and Shady Grove Events “is of tremendous benefit to Canton, Cherokee County, and surrounding counties.”
“The citizens has access to top quality talent at an affordable ticket price while providing an economic boost to the Downtown Canton area,” he said. “These events will not only spotlight the city of Canton, but the downtown Canton Theater as a venue for quality productions with surrounding restaurants and retail business adding to the pleasure of strolling the streets of the downtown Canton corridor.”
Downtown Development Authority member Rebecca Johnston also commended the upcoming performances and the behind-the-scenes work in getting the agreement in place.
“This is going to turn the corner,” she said.