In June 2012, 95 new business licenses were handed out throughout the county. This June, a slightly more promising 109 were given out. The number is also up from May when 101 were issued in Cherokee.
While the uptick isn’t staggering, local business leaders say it’s a good sign that the economy continues to recover from the downturn of recent years.
“It really doesn’t surprise me,” said Dennis Burnette, president and CEO of Cherokee Bank. “The economy is not necessarily booming, but we are seeing some growth.”
Burnette said he has ain always kept the lines of communication open with others in business, and what he hears is present in the numbers.
“For the last several years, business people have told me their revenues and sales were pretty flat,” he said. More recently, “Several of my clients have told me their revenues and sales are up 15 percent.”
Debra J. Williams, market development officer at Community and Southern Bank in Woodstock, also said the rise in the numbers is a positive sign.
“The continued uptick in the strength of the economy has the business community feeling more confident,” Williams said.
Williams said although gradual and sometimes flat, the growth is getting business people excited again.
“While any recovery is expected to be slow in nature, a measured pace carries with it a higher likelihood of being sustained over an extended period of time,” she said.
One Cherokee man taking advantage of the growth is Waleska’s Jim Kelley.
Kelley started renovating the former Front Porch Creamery building in Waleska where he plans to open Eagle’s Nest Pizza on Aug. 15.
Kelley came to Waleska about a year ago from Florida where he managed golf courses for decades.
He had a pretty simple set of goals when he came to town.
“Really, I came up here to kind of semi-retire and play golf,” he said.
But his new life wasn’t as fulfilling as he hoped it would be.
“I’ve been overplaying,” Kelley said. “And I decided I wanted to do something again.”
That “something” will now be his new pizza joint on Reinhardt College Parkway, which he hopes will draw in hungry youth from the college down the street.
“I don’t know many kids that don’t eat pizza,” Kelley said.
Eagle’s Nest Pizza will also have another thing near and dear to many college-age kids: beer.
The restaurant recently became the recipient of the city of Waleska’s first license to pour alcohol in the city limits, which Kelley said will help the business hit its mark of being a college-kid hangout, so long as the students stay safe with the alcohol.
“Basically, I’m going back to my youth,” he said. “When I was a kid going to college, we ate pizza and drank beer. And here I’ve got this captive audience down the street.”
Kelley said the restaurant will feature New York-style pizza and a Reinhardt University theme.
He also plans to offer a discount to students showing their school ID.
Kelley said his new business is a partnership with longtime Cherokee County resident Betty Callahan who is also a member of the Cherokee Planning Commission and owns the building.
Kelley said the building dates back well over 100 years.
In addition to Eagle’s Nest Pizza, other businesses that received licenses in the county were:
Paper.Scissors.Cake Children’s Art Studio
Jeremy’s Automotive LLC
Craig T Industries LLC
Just for You Catering
Flywheel Auto Sales Inc.
Georgia Platinum Realty LLC
Golfing Fore Green
Oogie Originals LLC
HSGA Real Estate Group LLC
Herb Conn Masonry
Pets’ Premier Mobile Veterinary Clinic LLC
Stand Up For Your Birth LLC
Slate Interactive Photo Booths Inc.
Fairy Tale Cleaning Services
Huffs Pressure Washing
Sanuel Dematos Lawn Care
Black Cat Blasting LLC
C&H Enterprises LLC
Rit Priya 0527 Inc.
Atlanta Horticulture Group
Michelle & Me! Music
Crossfit Bridgemill LLC
Dave Chandler Machinery
Partners in Facility Services LLC
Superior Cleaning Specialists Inc.
New Beginnings Bright Futures
Elements Salon and Spa LLC
Platinum One Logistics LLC
Milton Lawn Care
Get Driveways ’R Us Inc.
Off Duty Landscape Company LLC
E & G Construction
Atlanta Student Loan Aid LLC
RG Ironworks LLC
R Squared Contracting Services LLC
John E. Miller Inc.
KREID Innovations LLC
AC Squad LLC
Taurus Landscape Services LLC
Design Options LLC
B&D Gutter Services LLC
Ann M. Olk Sales
Ansleigh Homes Inc.
Yolanda G. Henry-Event Planning
Sheila Jones Interiors
Bluegrass Materials Company LLC
ASAPpliance Repair LLC
Striking Promotions LLC
Camila’s Cabs LLC
RBM Construction, Inc.
Rejuvenate Massage Studio LLC
National Title Insurance of New York
Adidas America Inc.
Carter’s Retail Inc.
Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting
Mary Zeman Art LLC
Bradash II Inc.
Baby & More Thrift Store
The Hope Center
Rand Realty LLC
Sundance Security Inc.
Snap Franks & Coneys LLC
Atlanta Brain and Spine Care PC
Destination Maternity Corporation
Urology of Greater Atlanta LLC
Barrel and Barley LLC
David Jesus Hernandez
Linette’s Hilltop Daycare
National Title Insurance of New York
Riverstone Dairy Queen
Cherokee Arts Center
Southern Comfort Fireworks
George Mead Md.
JRI Enterprises Global
Comprehensive Pain Management
Turbo H20 Pressure Washing
1st Choice Cleaning
Appalachian Air Deodorization LLC
Breeze Print Company
Turner Advisory Group LLC
Trendsetters Hair Salon
There is a Season LLC
— Ball Ground and Nelson issued no new licenses, and Waleska issued no others.