Bessemer attracting more businesses to downtown

Business in Bessemer
Business in Bessemer(wbrc)
Updated: Oct. 30, 2019 at 11:21 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you’ve been in downtown Bessemer recently - you may have noticed a number of new store fronts.

Over the last year, the city has been a magnet for new businesses. City leaders say 25 new businesses have set up shop.

On 1st Avenue, a neon “Open” sign welcomes people to The Back Porch restaurant. Chef Ron Cook’s spot has been open for 3 weeks.

“It’s humbling to have my own in Bessemer,” said Chef Cook, “The biggest thing I love about the city is I have an opportunity to showcase my talent in my hometown.”

Around the corner from the restaurant is another new business. Attorney Kem L. Marks brought her legal services shop, Just In Time Legal Solutions, to Bessemer. She works with people to draw up legal documents like wills or divorce papers. She says she moved to the area because she sees the potential.

“When moving here, it’s not just setting up shop, you’re a part of a movement and you feel that energy. You feel that progress,” said Marks, Esq.

The city is on an economic comeback.

“Amazon is here, new city hall, new rec center. You see nothing but continuous growth - people want to be a part of that,” said Jarvis Collier, Council Member.

Councilor Jarvis Collier represents downtown and owns a barbershop there. He says the city’s business friendly policies are the biggest draw for entrepreneurs and what will help keep the city growing.

“That growth is important to the city. For residents, you’re talking about stability, you’re talking about jobs,” said Collier.

The city also says downtown is an opportunity zone which makes it attractive for people looking for tax incentives with investments

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