By Amber Howard
Old Town Lansing Times
Old Town Lansing — Due to the reconstruction of Old Town and establishment of the Main Street program in 1996, Old Town residents have said the city has been a better environment to live, work and shop in.
According to michiganmainstreetcenter.com the staff of this program helps to assist up coming businesses in three different aspects; Associate, Selected, and Master.
The contribution from this program benefits all business within its community such as Grace Boutique of Old Town Lansing, a clothing store filled with classic styles for women.
Grace Boutique has been established since 2005, and has now relocated and expanded its business this summer of July 2014.
“Our store has defiantly grown and advanced since Main Street has been involved in the community,” said Rasha Kardahji, great friend of storeowner and former employee. “Because the Main Street Program is educating small businesses and the OTCA (Old Town Commercial Association) is giving these small businesses the opportunity to join different committees for promotion, helps to build our name.”
Till this day many people don’t know about Old Town, but because the OTCA continues to put on events, festivals, and different charity functions, the town continues to expand which brings in more clientele.
Bridget Gonyeau, communication intern and festival director for OTCA, is in charge of all events that take place in the city of Old Town, “Although we have separate jobs we still work as a team, but as festival director, it’s my job to make sure all the events taking place are compelling and in someway beneficial to the community,” Gonyeau said.
Cravings Gourmet Popcorn & Soda Pop Market is one of the many businesses that expanded tremendous due to Old Towns reconstruction.
Cravings originally opened for business in September of 2007 at the Lansing City Market. With business growing, rapidly, Cravings then relocated to Old Town, which is their current location today, and this past summer opened up a second location in Okemos MI.
“This location has built our name so much due to the customer attractions we get during the events put on by OTCA,” said Holly Burke store employee. “Business is great and that’s why another location was built in Okemos.
Business expansions will continue for the city of Old Town with the help of the Main Street Program and Old Town Commercial Association.