Local News

Patience, Perseverance Pay Off For Downtown Tarboro

Posted March 7, 2001

— Things are looking up in Tarboro where patience and perseverance are paying off.

Merchants in Tarboro remember a time when their buildings stood in floodwater, but today you would never know it hit. Every Main Street business came back and new ones are moving in. Sherri Alligood just opened her shop less than two ago.

"The first day that I was open, the crowd was just phenomenal, quite overwhelming, so I think everybody is really excited that things are still happening and headed in the right direction," she says.

The economic outlook will be a lot brighter Friday afternoon when the bridge on St. James Street reopens. It is the first street you come to right off of Highway 64 into downtown Tarboro, but it has been out of commission for 18 months.

Business owner Jimmy Gooch is counting the hours. His shop is just a few feet from the bridge.

"By all means, I get a lot of traffic that I've been missing for a year and an half almost. This is really the most direct route downtown," he says.

Businesses say they were determined to stay.

"Even while we were still three feet deep in the water, we were all making our plans to get back into business as quickly as possible and do what was necessary," says business owner Donna Webb.

Several buildings that were empty before the flood are still empty today. Special incentives are now in place to attract future tenants.

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