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Downtown Rock Island Sees New Businesses, Business Owners See Benefit

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Driving through downtown Rock Island, you'll notice lots of vacant shops and buildings, but city leaders say the downtown area is finally expanding and Rock Island residents say it's about time.

Rock Island for a long time had a bad reputation. that reputation doesn't exist anymore. the new park, new businesses down here. it's a good thing," said Rock Island resident Charles Knudsen.

"It will bring more people downtown whether they are working or living and ultimately that's a benefit for all the people that own businesses down here," said Rock Island resident Brett Hitchcock.

Those new shops could ultimately benefit business owners like Lindsay O'brien whose been running Good Karma Shirt Co in the district for over a year. She says business has increased since she's opened, but new shops could sure help. "One great thing about the district--there's always street festivals. it's a lively place in the summer time," said Lindsay O'Brien. "The more shops that are down here, the more traffic flow I'm going to see."

City business leaders say they hope the new businesses that opened today bring even more people to the area  "This gives us an opportunity to really let this community know that we have tremendous talent, locally owned entrepreneur businesses that the community can support," said Brian Hollenback with Renaissance Rock Island.

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