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Merchants form new alliance to revive downtown

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
A new group has been formed within the Atmore business community to help put downtown Atmore back into the minds of local shoppers.
The Atmore Business Association, made up of both merchants as well as attorneys, accountants and other companies such as Pepsi, has held two meetings and they elected officers last week.
The group was formed to bring unity to the effort to re-establish and renovate the downtown area and to bring shoppers back to the streets of Atmore. The members plan to advertise and organize promotions together that will benefit every business involved.
This new organization is similar to the defunct Downtown Merchants Association. Frances Dunn, owner of Jasmine Place and the newly-elected vice president of the Atmore Business Association, said many retailers were interested in forming an alliance once again.
Among those things the group hopes to do is planning promotions to bring people back to Main Street.
The group also hopes to educate the public on what is offered in the downtown area.
A unique aspect of the new organization from its predecessor is that other non-retail business professionals are joining. In fact, Randy Nichols, an accountant, will serve as the group's treasurer.
One reason the merchants are welcoming other business professionals is due to their goals of restoring and renovating the downtown area. One of the first challenges the group sees before them has to do with a proposal to move the Atmore Post Office.
Even though the group feels strongly about the post office move, they do not want to be considered a political group.
The ABA also plans to work hand-in-hand with all other civic and business organizations within the community, especially the Chamber of Commerce.
Also voted to the post of secretary by the members of the group was Edith Beans who will serve as secretary.
Dunn said any retail merchant or business professional interested in enhancing and promoting downtown may attend their next meeting which will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at The Wisteria. Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of each month.