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Main Street Program honors downtown businesses

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Photo by: Lara Dietricg | Staff Photographer
Dr. Janet Hale's, pictured with her business law honor students, will be conducting the research on the economic impact in the Downtown area will have on San Marcos.

The Main Street Program hosted an award ceremony outside the San Marcos courthouse Saturday evening to honor downtown business owners for their contributions to the area’s diverse environment.

“Our community continues to grow around our downtown area because we have such a robust group of people who are very active in embracing diversity,” said Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidate.

The voice of San Marcos citizens was heard at the award ceremony, said Samantha Armbuster, manager of the Main Street Program. Out of 700 nominations, San Martians chose the top three businesses for the four award categories. Main Street advisory board members then chose the winners.

Owners of Redbud Roasters accepted the New Business of the Year award while The Marc was named the overall Business of the Year.

Café on the Square was honored with the Legend of the Year award and the Partner of the Year award was taken home by the owner of Hays County Historical Commission.

“All of these finalists are not doing business as usual,” Armbruster said. “They all cater to both the locals and the visitors alike which brings a unique presence to the downtown City of San Marcos.”

She said customers at these businesses are “graced” with customer service that one would not experience at a “run-of-the-mill shop.”

“These finalists really care about the City of San Marcos,” Armbruster said. “Whether it’s helping the flood relief or sponsoring the high school booster club, all of these finalists have engaged with the community and it shows.”

Omar Dawoud, manager of The Marc, said the entertainment venue has assisted in flood efforts by partnering with United Way to host a benefit concert last month which raised over $400,000 dollars for local flood assistance.

“What really separates us is that we are a small town community growing into a big city and a part of the reason for that is our growing diversity,” Dawoud said.

Armbruster said all of the winners have helped create a “cultural hub” for the community in terms of diversity.

“You really cannot think about downtown and not think about these finalists,” Armbruster said.

Austin Van Zant, owner of Redbud Roasters, said he did not expect to win the New Business of the Year Award.

“I started this company as just a guy roasting coffee and it’s been amazing to really see this place grow,” Van Zant said. “I would have never expected this to be as big as it is and this award is truly and honor.”

Brian Scofield, owner of Stonewall Warehouse, said he is pleased at the way San Marcos citizens have welcomed the city’s first LGBTQIA bar.

“I’m really proud of Stonewall and I am so thankful for the excellent feedback from the city, its government and the university,” Scofield said.