Montevallo sees continued economic growth

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The opening of Trendy Chic Boutique marks the sixth local business in Montevallo to open in the past four months, according to Steve Gilbert, executive director of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce.

The ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, will make official the latest instance of growth in Montevallo. The shop will open on Main Street, the focus of much of the recent economic development.

Lucky Penny, Emma Gray, Shampoochies, Elite Bail Bonds and Elite Private Investigators have all opened recently in the Main Street district.

“I think it speaks well to the participation of our community,” Gilbert said. “We’re supporting our local businesses more.”

The Chamber of Commerce has had inquiries from two breweries and a restaurant, all considering locations in the city.

Gilbert believes the boom is a result of changes in the market. He said consumers seem to be shifting their attention toward smaller, personal shopping experiences as opposed to chain stores and supermarkets.

Gilbert said the coming renovations might foster this shift even more.

Main Street will soon go through a major overhaul. According to Gilbert, the streetscape project will affect the infrastructure and design of the street.

The electrical wiring will be moved out of sight, new lighting will be installed in the form of lampposts and new sidewalks will make the city more walk-able.

“Change is never easy. Change is never quick,” Gilbert said. “None of this ever happens overnight. What we’re seeing now is the result of years of hard work by a lot of people.”

Gilbert highlighted the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, the City Council, Shelby County, the Montevallo Development Cooperative District and the Montevallo Main Street Program in bringing the renovations to fruition.

“Now we’re going to get to see how it all works and comes together,” Gilbert said.