Flurry of downtown businesses open

Newton has seen a recent spike in small businesses popping up throughout downtown.

In fact, there were seven small business openings within city limits in January alone, said Rob Powell, the city of Newton’s commercial development coordinator.

“There are still a couple more that we are working with, but haven’t opened up yet,” Powell said “It looks like next month will be pretty busy as well.”

In the downtown area, there have been a half-dozen recent openings that city officials say is helping Newton move in the right direction. Most recently, a collectors and consignment shop, Picadilli Emporium, opened its doors Feb. 11, and the appliance repair, installation and sale shop All Systems Pro had its grand opening Feb. 1.

Outside the downtown area, businesses like Express Graphics, Nicole’s Fashion and Queens Consignment have also brought new business along Northwest Boulevard within the past two months. A Hmong market also opened at 813 U.S. 70 in Catawba Village in January.

The recent additions may be a good sign for a downtown area that has sometimes struggled to attract business in the past.

Powell is hopeful that development will continue.

“This historic district that will soon be established, I think that will help with the publicity and the exposure and tax credits should be good for property as well,” he said. “What we would like to see is have businesses come in that bring more pedestrian foot traffic because that would be good for everybody. To have local people open up businesses that are making a go at a retail business is good for downtown.”

Some recent grand openings in the downtown area include:

*Picadilli Emporium
Feb. 11
111 E. 1st St.
What: This emporium offers a host of “new and old treasures,” including furniture, collectibles, tools, electronics and antiques. The store is filled with many goods that Owner Arthur Dillingham and his son, Jason, pick up at area auctions in the community.

Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

*All Systems Pro
Feb. 1
13 N. College Ave.
What: All Systems Pro repairs home appliances, including refridgerators, freezers, washers, dryers and more. Owner Monte Anderson said he has 15 years of experience working with electronics and 10 years working with appliances. All Systems Pro also offers in-home repair service, sells used appliances, and installs home theater systems, water heaters and HVAC units.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Newton Martial Arts
Jan. 3
118 E. 1st St.
What: NMA teaches eclectic martial arts and self-defense skills in a Christian and family atmosphere. It has taught Teashikido Karate in Newton for more than 20 years.
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-9 p.m.

*Affordable Floors
Dec. 7
208 N. College Ave.
What: Affordable Floors specializes in the sale and installation of various types of flooring, including carpet, laminate, hardwood, ceramic tile, bamboo, linoleum, vinyl and more. Owner Scott Byles, along with his six installers, has more than 100 years of combined flooring experience.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.