This is a guest post written by Peter Fortner, a Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street Neighborhood Strategy Council (NSC) Member. Peter is a local resident and a Realtor with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

It was a sunny, crisp fall day recently, just following Halloween 2020 when I arranged my living room floor to resemble a test taking center. I had to take a proctored online exam, monitored through my laptop camera. Like for so many activities these days, with Zoom meetings, online classes, and virtual events, I did my best to make the place where I binge on Netflix (and, let’s face it, eat meals and conduct any number of daily tasks) a clutter and distraction-free zone. Also required for my exam was something I simply don’t own anymore, a plain calculator; no phones were allowed. 

When seeking instant gratification, Amazon’s not uncommon to be the go-to these days, but my mind began scanning for a more immediate solution that I could walk to on such a beautiful day. I remembered G.A. Ave Biz Solutions at 3613 Georgia Avenue ( This local small business has a friendly owner, a multitude of services, and is an important member of our community. I had visited once before, and they were then kept in my mind by an Instagram post from the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street (@LGAMainSt). They had just what I needed, my new plain calculator. 

As I walked home, I felt wonderful. The sun on my face, the smell of freshly fallen leaves, and the homes with autumnal decor were all something I hadn’t had enough of this year. For me, the convenience of a local store is a luxury of city living. For many of our neighbors, it is essential. Having a variety of local businesses and a thriving commercial corridor is vital to our neighborhood’s character. 

As the landscape of our consumer habits adjusts to the new normal, so must our local small businesses evolve to these changes. The Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street is there for just that. From keeping our businesses fresh in our minds through social media posts to working with individual restaurants to receive grants to expand outdoor seating options, the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street and District Bridges are here to guide our community partners to success.

Whether you’re someone who relies on physical business locations for daily needs or needs the fresh air and masked community interaction, it is essential for all of us to engage and support local businesses to ensure they survive. Follow and support your Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street to be a part of this vital effort. It is essential to all of us.

Picture the things you love most about your neighborhood. What about the small businesses that make our community unique? If you don’t act now, the COVID-19 crisis could irreparably damage the places you love most.  As we begin to understand the cascading impacts the last several months are having on our economy, the resources we rely on to support small businesses will be significantly restricted.

That is why we need your support today to ensure that District Bridges and our Main Street programs will be here for our businesses and community in the coming year.