Vibrant Vernon

Downtown Vernon is growing at a speed that's hard to keep up with. In the last six weeks nine businesses have called the area home. Some businesses recently opened and others will open its doors in the coming weeks.

Vernon's Main Street Program is a big part of the growth. The city joined the program last year and since then they've slowly invested in public infrastructure, restoration and added several new businesses.

Inside Julie Scott's Store, Main Street Trading Post, you'll find all kinds of things: clothes, instruments, furniture. At the start of June she packed her bags and relocated to the heart of Vernon.

"I moved from a flee market over here," she said. "We've been doing really good, we've had a real good month for June. A real good month for July."

She is one of nine owners who have opened, are about to open, or simply relocated to downtown Vernon.

"That equals the new businesses we got in the entirety of last year," said Dan Kelleher, Director of Vernon's Main Street Program.

The program offers grants to businesses. In the last year he's watched the city grow and renovate.

"Everything that we do is to lay the welcome mat out so people will think that downtown Vernon is a good place to make sound investments."

That welcome mat brought in Shawna Keys, owner of It's a Girl Thing.

"I think it's wonderful it just shows that Vernon's growing. The more the merrier and we'll bring each other business," said Keys.

"There's a positive message going out that Vernon is a good place to invest your money," said Kelleher.

Here is a list of nine businesses that have opened, will open, or have relocated to downtown Vernon:

1. Main Street Trading Post

2. It's a Girl Thing

3. Kemp Dollar Saver

4. "Pro's" mini-mart

5. Hayley Eye Clinic

6. Pro Mark Body Art

7. R. Nava's Sports Restaurant

8. Dos Yogurt Shop

9. River Creek Land Sales

Buildings that are now undergoing or will shortly undergo significant restoration are the following:

1. The City Of Vernon Police Building

2. The Brantley Wright Insurance Building

3. Barbwire & Roses

4. West Texas Appliance

5. River Creek Land Sales Building

The Vernon Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee recently approved the use of hotel occupancy tax funds (HOT) for a total of $95,000 for two museums. One will serve as the Jack Teagarden museum. The other will be the city's historical museum.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.