One of Fayetteville's biggest streets has been slowly transforming, striving to regain its status as a hotspot for local businesses as the city has been targeting investments to the area. City Hall says approximately $1.2 million that's been invested in Murchison Road businesses over the past five years. Almost $700,000 has come from the city; the rest coming from private investments. The investments are being made alongside a string of development and beautification projects on the road, as well.
The couple that owns Henley's Vintage Kitchen on Murchison says they've only been in business since 2021 but their roots run deep. Fayetteville native and co-owner of the restaurant, Michael Henley, says running his business is about reviving the energy of the road's successful Black businesses he looked up to as a kid.
"There were a lot of places that was here in the early 70s that really inspired us to want to be entrepreneurs.
"My father was in business in the early seventies here. So, when we got the opportunity to invest back in this area, you know, it was just part of legacy."
The city awarded Henley's restaurant a matching grant of about $22,000 in 2021. James McGrady, the owner of McGrady & Sons Motor & Repair received a grant as well. McGrady's family has been running their auto shop for 50 years since his father opened it in 1973. McGrady was able to make a series of major aesthetic and inventory improvements to his business with the grant. He says the city's investment shows a commitment to reenergizing the area.
"It not only gives ownership," McGrady said, "It gives a sense of pride to see something that was once outdated come into date. With the city of Fayetteville doing the area of revitalization and giving funding to help with that, it's It has helped a lot of businesses to do upgrades and facelifts to the business that, of course, bring in new business."
City officials say there is more financial aid for businesses on the way.
"The state has given $1.5 million for the Murchison Road corridor," said City Council Member D.J. Haire. "It's not over, there's still a lot to do. But just to drive up and down Murchison Road corridor and see all of the revitalizations that's going on, we're surrounded by this morning, I'm very happy to see where we're going."
Business owners who want to learn more about Murchison Road's development and funding opportunities from the city can go to the upcoming info session at Fayetteville's city hall on Thursday, March 2 at 5:30 pm.
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