Thanks to a combination of new investment, fresh perspectives, and steps towards a strong digital footprint, one area that is seeing a special kind of resurgence is Downtown Chatham.

To highlight a few examples of positive change we need to look no further than three businesses which are re-investing in the downtown: Collins Clothiers, Kniaziew Optometry, and Art and Heirloom Shoppe.

Upon opening their new store, Collins Clothiers has seen an upswing in demand from a variety of markets, but specifically from the wedding market as brides and grooms prepare for a busy wedding season.

Collins Clothiers new location in downtown Chatham

Kniaziew Optometry is currently in the process of renovating the new location so they can offer a full-service office that includes pre-testing, eye exams, and the largest dispensing area in Chatham-Kent. Their on-site lab ensures patients get both timely and quality service. Watch for their grand opening in the spring.

Not to be outdone, the Art and Heirloom Shoppe is not only growing to a larger downtown location, but they have also taken advantage of the Digital Main Street grant thanks to the support provided by the Chatham-Kent Economic Development Digital Service Squad and the Small Business Centre. 

Art and Heirloom Shoppe celebrates their new expanded location in downtown Chatham

“Helping our downtown bricks and mortar stores improve their digital footprint is exactly the purpose of the Digital Service Squad and we are thrilled that the Art and Heirloom Shoppe has been able to take advantage of the program,” said Andrew Tompsett, Chatham-Kent Economic Development. 

As we have said, 2020 is looking to be a busy year. Watch for more news of change and growth across all of the downtown areas of Chatham-Kent.

One final note, we want to send a special welcome to Alison MacLean, the new Office Manager at The Historic Downtown Chatham BIA. We know you'll continue on the great work and help to build a strong and vibrant community.