Experts suggest simple ways to boost business

Three business experts provided money-making advice at a free seminar put on by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation. The tips were aimed at businesses in the area.

Speaking to the group on Feb. 4 were Jennifer Galloway, owner of Thirsty Mona Lisa on Main St. in Stone Mountain, Kerry Wright, owner of Calabar & Grill at Redan & Indian Creek, and  John Ernst, experienced business owner and consultant with the Georgia Small Business Development Center.

They emMeeting-wide3phasized that first impressions matter. With people shopping online or driving to fancier neighborhoods to shop, businesses need curb appeal. The panel suggested simple, inexpensive ways that owners could make a more positive impression:

 

*Add flowers and plants to the front of the store

*Clean the windows

*Eliminate clutter on the windows – customers like to see what’s inside

*Showcase merchandise outside the front door

*Make the door a focal point

The experts also encouraged local business owners to meet frequently and network with each other.

All three experts donated their time to the event. Crossroads Presbyterian Church, at Redan and Panola, donated meeting space for the event.

The event launched the first annual Wow! Winning First Impressions contest. All businesses in the Greater Hidden Hills Community are invited to compete. The most improved businesses will win a grand prize – a beautiful, tall planter filled with attractive perennials – and be recognized in a ceremony on March 17. Two businesses will receive honorable mention awards.

Entry formMeeting-wide4s are available at this link  Contest Info and Entry Form

or  by writing to GHHCDC@gmail.com

The events are put on by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3), committed to improving economic development and quality of life.

 

This contest is made possible by a grant from the Neighborhood Fund. The Neighborhood Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, empowers community members to positively impact neighborhoods at the local level.

Wow! Winning First Impressions Contest Ideas and Entry Form

Storefront Marketing Contest

Enter now in the  first annual Wow! Winning First Impressions contest. All businesses in the Greater Hidden Hills Community are invited to compete.  The business that most improves and beautifies the front of its store will win a grand prize – a beautiful , tall planter filled with attractive perennials – and be recognized in a ceremony on March 17. Two businesses will receive honorable mention awards.

Contest-brochure-ideas-rules-entry form
Click on the brochure link for the entry form, rules, and great ideas!

 

2015 Accomplishments, and What’s Ahead

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We Received a Grant December 18!

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation received a $1,300 grant from the Neighborhood Fund* to stage a Most Improved Business Award, given to the business in the overlay district that significantly improves its exterior aesthetics. Details on the contest will be announced in January. A business seminar will be held in February to provide information on driving sales by making the store exterior inviting and appealing. The awards ceremony will be in March.

The grant includes $500 for community coaching. Our first meeting with the coach will be December 30, 3 p.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. You are welcome to join us.

*The Neighborhood Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, empowers community members to positively impact neighborhoods at the local level. Building upon grassroots ideas and energy, Neighborhood Fund provides grants and support to community groups to build relationships, develop leadership, and change communities within the 23-county region.

 

Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation 

Notice of Election

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) election of board members is scheduled for Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 10: 30 a.m., Mainstreet Community Center located at 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr., Stone Mountain, GA 30088.

The Corporation operates as a not-for-profit business for the purpose of marketing and developing the Greater Hidden Hills Community.

The Bylaws require a total of five to nine board members to serve for a term of not less than two-years and not more than six years. The board is elected at a meeting of the membership. All interested members are invited to participate in the election.

It is important that the organization maintain a functioning board in order to keep the 501(c)(3) classification, qualify for grants and continue to provide meaningful activities for the community.

The members of the board designate the officers of the Corporation: President, Secretary-Treasurer, and General Managers. Each board member serves on one of the four standing committees: four Standing Committees Fundraising, Membership Development, Marketing and Communication, and Finance and Budget.

ALL MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SCHEDULED ELECTION.

 

Members THANK YOU!

GHHCDC thanks you for your support and participation in 2015. We’re off to a strong start! Please review the attached slide show to learn more about our accomplishments in 2015.

Slide show, click here:  Accomplishments 2015

With your support, we will continue our great works.

We are now approaching a prosperous 2016 and membership is due! Your dues are tax deductible because we are a 501(c)(3). Please fill out the attached form and send it in with your check. We look forward to your membership in 2016!

Membership, click here:  GHHCDC_Membership_Application_2016

We’re now on Facebook and Instagram

You can get to the sites by clicking the links on the column on the right.

Thanks to Karen Smiley-Speas for help setting up the new sites.

 

Update on Community Improvements, Upholding the Overlay Code, and Economic Development

Biffle Park Blooms with Generous Support

On Saturday, a group of volunteers planted dozens of perennials in three planters at Biffle Park. We planted drawf gardenias, Coral Bells, Japanese surge, Coral Bell, Carpet bugleweed (ajuga), black-eyed Susan,  variegated vinca, paperwhite narcissus, and crocus.  The plants will bloom in different seasons and provide greenery all year long.  We moved a butterfly bush to a better location.

Lowe’s Home Improvement on Fairington Road donated $125 to the effort, a contribution made possible because of a grant request by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., (GHHCDC), a 501(c)(3). We were able to buy the plants half-price, as a sale was going on when we shopped. Thank you Lowe’s Manager Michael Pitchford and Assistant Manager John Perkins for giving our community the plants.

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And thanks to several people who helped with this effort:

  • Wayne Scaturro for helping repair tIMG_4464he pot that wouldn’t drain
  • Sherrie Walker and Karen Smiley-Speas for helping select the plants, transport them, and plant them.
  • Lois Dunlap and Fred Plummer for helping with the planting
  • Leroy Sampson for letting us use water from his spigot

 

Biffle Park is a wonderful amenity in our community. I’ve spent many hours walking my dog there, visiting with neighbors, and enjoying the happy sounds of kids on the playground. It was a pleasure to give back to this beautiful spot.

 

 

Gas Station/Alcohol Retail Proposal – Public Hearing – Nov. 11, 7 p.m, Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston

One of the primary purposes of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is to make sure our overlay code is enforced. You can help.  On Nov. 11, 7 p.m, the community is invited to hear from a
businessman who wants to build a gas station with an alcohol retail component at 4736 Redan Road, one lot west of the Boston Market. This meeting will take place at Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston (the shopping center behind Los Arcos). New gas stations are prohibited in the commercial tiers of the Greater Hidden Hills District because we have enough of them. If you are able, please join us at this hearing. The GHHCDC will be speaking out against the development.

 

Code Enforcement Aske to Stop Illegal Street Corner Vendors

The gas stations at Covington and S. Hairston and Redan and S. Hairston have become micro flea markets, and such activity is prohibited in the commercial tiers of the overlay. We have joined other neighbors in asking DeKalb County Code Enforcement to crack down on this illegal activity. Interim CEO Lee May answered an email and stated that he would pursue swift action.  If you see vendors conducting business on the corners, please take a picture and send it to GHHCDC@gmail.com.  Let us know where the picture was taken, the date, and time.

 

Dress for Success – a Better Business Model

Another key purpose of the GHHCDC is to encourage better business development. We are working on an initiative to reward business owners that beautify the exterior of their establishments. The initiative will include information on how to dress a business for success and a contest.  If you would like to help with this effort, contact GHHCDC@gmial.com

 

Investigation of Discriminatory Home Appraisals and Lending Practices

The Hidden Hills community and surrounding neighborhoods are still suffering from the discriminatory and unethical practices of mortgage lenders and appraisers, activity that sent the market into a tailspin in 2008. The SDIA is working with a Washington Post reporter to cover the impact of the low property values as determined by appraisers.  Wayne Early, the Chair of the SDIA Housing Committee, would like to hear from those who “have been unable to sell or refinance their homes dues to being “under-water.” This also includes people who may have been denied a mortgage modification, were forced into a short-sale or lost their home due to foreclosure because of low property values.”

If you think you have been affected by discriminatory practices, please contact Wayne Early, 404 643-5082, or wayne@early-economics.com   .

 

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is Nov. 21, 10:30 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. Please join us.

 

Submitted by Jan Costello, GHHCDC@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Safety and Economic Development

What is on the minds of residents and business owners alike? Safety and code enforcement. The Greater Hidden Hills CDC is committed to economic development, but progress is dependent upon effective law enforcement. When we met with the owner of Redan Village shopping center and the owner of Jay’s Place, these concerns were uppermost on their minds.

That is why we are telling you about these two meetings:

Public Safety Meeting at Mainstreet Community Center May 19, 6:30 pm

Address: 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30088

The May 19 public safety meeting will include key DeKalb county officials who will address questions on public safety, criminal activity, and code enforcement.

 

GHHCDC monthly meeting May 23, 10 a.m. at Mainstreet Community Center

Address: 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30088

We will continue planning our next event – the Battle of the Bands, August 22 (noon to 2 pm) at Redan Village. We welcome your ideas.

 

Update from last meeting

At the GHHCDC April 25 meeting, we heard about the expansion plans for Antioch Manor Estates Senior Community at S. Hairston and Woodway/Bishop Ming. Housing Authority of DeKalb County Vice President of Real Estate Sharon D. Guest presented plans for the third phase of the senior community at S. Hairston and Bishop Ming Roads. If DeKalb wins a Georgia Department of Community Affairs grant (to be decided in the fall), the third phase will be built. The $17 million development would have 124 units.

Currently, there are 125 units in phase one and about 260 in phase two.

There is a huge need for affordable senior housing; Antioch already has 300 people on the waiting list.

Other details: The project cannot provide assisted living because of the nature of the tax credits. It would meet EarthCraft standards for environmental standards.

Business seminar
Entrepreneurs in the Greater Hidden Hills area appreciated the tips and resources provided by John Ernst, business consultant with the UGA Small Business Development Center. The event was put on by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation April 21. Special thanks to White Oak Hills Baptist church for hosting the event.

Next meeting- Learn about senior community expansion, business outreach

Learn about the Antioch senior community’s expansion plans

 On April 25, 10 a.m., at the regular Greater Hidden Hills CDC meeting:

The Housing Authority of DeKalb County will unveil the site plan for the 3rd phase of the Antioch Manor Estates Senior Community, at S. Hairston and Bishop Ming Road. Real Estate Project Manager Valerie R. Fountaine will present the plans.

Where:            Mainstreet Community Center
5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain, 30088

We’ll also provide updates on the successful Grow Your Business workshop, plans for the August Battle of the Bands, and progress on building alliances with local business owners.

Bus-Workshop3

Photo: Entrepreneurs in the Greater Hidden Hills area appreciated the tips and resources provided by John Ernst, business consultant with the UGA Small Business Development Center. The event was put on by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation April 21.

Special thanks to White Oak Hills Baptist church for hosting the event. We appreciate your service to the community!