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Downtown Sets Record For New Business

December 13, 2011, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Downtown Sets Record For New Business
SIOUX FALLS, SD - You hear a lot of doom and gloom for business nationwide, but downtown Sioux Falls is breaking records for growth in 2011. 

An eclectic little shop is the big dream of mom, Jessica Medici. She opened Aviena, a store that sells vintage clothing and furniture, along with new artwork, just a few months ago after leaving a 15-year career in medical records at Sanford.

"This space had opened up and I knew if I didn't jump on it...spaces down here don't open up very often. I knew if I didn't jump on it; it was just the right time to do it," Medici said.

This self-proclaimed second-hand shopper is one of 14 new business owners to open their doors this year downtown. You can credit the changing landscape.

"It doesn't surprise me new businesses are drawn to this area. There are so many improvement projects going on over past year especially to improve pedestrian traffic and awareness of retail shops and specialty things downtown," Medici said.

"I think it really has to do with events and activities downtown along with businesses and retailers working together and bring awareness to community downtown," Kelly Hoefert of Downtown Sioux Falls said.

Medici hopes heading downtown becomes an event for shoppers and the Downtown Sioux Falls group wants to make sure it does.

"To be part of that experience, to have people stroll down and see what's down here. There are so many unique shops downtown and also in this 8th and Railroad strip itself, so many unique different shops," Medici said.

While downtown did set records for new growth with 14 new businesses, still about 15 percent closed up shop.

The Downtown Sioux Falls group is working on a new "zip code" campaign to target certain sections of the city to get people to come and spend money downtown.

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