WACO, Texas – On the eve of Small Business Saturday, local business owners got their first glimpse of some exciting projects that could hit downtown Waco.
Bids have been submitted by by businesses such as hatchet-throwing bars and an Insomnia Cookies store. Of course, Magnolia is getting in on the fun as well, proposing a $10 million expansion.
Almost 90 companies have submitted bids to open in Waco, including some from out of state – and even a few from outside the United States.
“Whenever we have an attraction project from another state or another country even, I mean, we do cartwheels around the office,” says Jennifer Branch, of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.
The expansion of businesses within the city can be largely attributed to the renaissance of the downtown area throughout the decade.
“Being a place that is now cool and fun, and you get to come to places like Fabled Bookstore and experience the great eateries we have now. It’s making it a lot easier for us to attract talent which, in turn, attracts business,” says Branch.
Fabled Bookstore and Cafe, which hosted the meeting, is one of the newest small businesses to open its doors downtown. The development of the downtown area was one of the key factors for them becoming the only independently-owned bookstore in Waco.
“We wanted to be in downtown, where we could be easily accessible. A place that was close and had sidewalks, had easy parking, a place that could really feel like a hub of the community itself,” says Fabled Bookstore and Cafe co-owner Alison Frenzel.
Frenzel also said she has been “overwhelmed” by the amount of support she has received from the local small business community.
Local business owners say the rise of downtown Waco has made the city a national tourist destination.