Newark City Officials Work To Revitalize Downtown Area - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Newark City Officials Work To Revitalize Downtown Area

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NEWARK, Ohio -

The City of Newark is known for its courthouse and the square surrounding it, but city officials are trying to change that image.

Newark is offering businesses two revitalization programs to help make Newark a destination spot.

"It's not for every business but many businesses enjoy that and love it quite a bit. Built in restaurants, built in some retail, we are not trying to compete with the malls. We are offering an alternative really," explained Newark Mayor Jeff Hall.

One program called the Small Business Loan Guarantee helps businesses who are having problems getting financing.

Dawn Eichenlaub is the owner of Body Core Fitness and was considering trying to expand her business. The loan guarantee made the decision a little easier.

"I don't know if we would have been able to, but it definitely helped push us in the right direction. It gave us that kind of go ahead do this where you are supposed to be. Which is kind of how everything happened with this place so far," said Eichenlaub.

The city is seeing new businesses coming in -- and staying.

"We have had several new businesses open up downtown this year, actually five new restaurants in the past couple of years. And those restaurants are doing well. People are definitely seeing downtown as a place to come to," said Stuart Moynihan, with Newark economic development.

Another option for businesses is the downtown revitalization grant, which lets businesses make structural improvements on their properties.

When Liz Argyle bought her building, large chucks of stucco were falling from the second floor. The grant money gave her a quick fix, and she is seeing changes in the way the downtown looks.

"It allows you to get rid of -- what I say is blight in the area, and it's an old downtown. You need help getting the buildings up to date. They are old and it's expensive," said Argyle.

Those building improvements are providing jobs in the area too, city officials said.

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