KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In 2022, the Downtown Knoxville Alliance said the area welcomed 18 new businesses.
"It's a fun area to come to," said Michele Hummel, the group's executive director. "It's very vibrant with a lot of activities to do for families, for young professionals, girls night out."
The new signs, shops and restaurants bring hope to downtown.
"Since COVID, we saw a drop [in new businesses]," Hummel said. "Then, we're seeing new increases each year as things progress from COVID."
One challenge she's noticed is businesses struggling to attract employees.
"One thing we're really working on is trying to help those businesses. Some of them are shortening their hours and things like that," she said. "That's a hiccup we're seeing in the Knox County area period."
The solution could be under construction. A number of residential developments, like Church + Henley, are in the works.
"From the 2023 perspective, residential developments as well as others throughout the Old City and on the north side of downtown [could be] bringing a lot more employees downtown," Hummel said. "It seems once or something opens, it quickly leases in the downtown area."
She said she hopes those new downtown area residents can work at the local businesses and in turn, attract more.
"We hope to see more businesses," she said. "It's a vibrant area and there's something to do for everybody."
• Marriott Downtown
• The Brass Pearl
• Frothy Monkey
• Arrowmont Gallery
• Addison's/The Tea Bar
• Bethie Lou's
• The Holistic Connection
• Maker Exchange
• Paris Woodhull Illustrations
• Smiley Aesthetics
• The Tribute
• Alice in Appalachia
• Hong's Kitchen
• The Spice & Tea Exchange
• Red Panda Grocery