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Sen. Ossoff announces $500,000 investment to revitalize Sweet Auburn Avenue

Ossoff said the funds will help support small businesses to thrive in the historic neighborhood.

ATLANTA — Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff announced Monday that $500,000 will be allocated to help revitalize the Auburn Avenue Corridor in northeast Atlanta.

Ossoff said the funds will help develop small businesses in the historic neighborhood, many of which are Black-owned.

"The sweet Auburn corridor, as such a vital and historic part of Atlanta's legacy, can participate in the ongoing economic development of the metro region in this state," Ossoff said.

The money will be handed over to Sweet Auburn Works project, which works to preserve and revitalize the district, according to their website. 

With the allocation, Ossoff said Sweet Auburn Works will help businesses:

  • Create mentorship opportunities
  • Help them find find access to capital
  • Adapt their business plans to changing economic environments

The investment was passed as part of the appropriations measure last year, according to Ossoff.

Several community business owners attended the event, including the owners of the Auburn Vinyl Store, Sweet Auburn Bread Company and The Weave Outlet, which is run by Shanise Thomason.

Thomason said she's part of the SPARK Innovation Lab, and her business will directly benefit from the investment.

"We are just trying to grow from all the struggles and all the things we’ve had to endure the last four or five years," Thomason said.

The Sweet Auburn Vinyl store has seen the results of the previous funding -- having expanded their store -- one business owner confirmed.

Shannon Mitchell is also enrolled in the lab. She owns several businesses, including Shealo Glo, and has a podcast called Women Connected in Widsom.

Mitchell said she initially operated some her businesses as a pop-up, but with the help of the program, she now has a location where clients can easily find her while also having a meeting ground for events.

"What I was doing throughout COVID was popping up in different places throughout Atlanta," Mitchell said. "So I have somewhere they can find me locally, not just e-commerce."  

For a full list of businesses involved in the SPARK project, click the link here.

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