A Covington County Nonprofit Hopes to Foster New Business Growth

This is what the old Opp building will look like once the renovations are complete.
This is what the old Opp building will look like once the renovations are complete.(WTVY)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 4:39 PM CDT
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OPP, Ala. (WTVY) - While small businesses are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic, a new Covington County non profit is hoping to be a catalyst for new business growth in the city of Opp.

“We believe that Opp is still worth investing in and so we want people to have hope that Opp can be fleurishing once again,” Executive Director of Opp Vision in Action Foundation Amanda Henderson said.

Henderson is on the board of the Covington Exchange. It includes a small business incubator program where entrepreneurs and small business startup owners can come to work and grow their ideas.

The nonprofit will be located in an old building on East Covington and Main Street in downtown Opp. The building may be an eye-sore now. However, in the coming months, it’ll be transformed into the home base of the Covington Exchange.

“It allows them to be able to scale and grow their business in a supportive environment. And then our hope is that they are profitable, that they do well. And that eventually, if they’re wanting to open a brick and mortar, that they’ll stay here in downtown Opp,” Henderson said.

Once fully functioning, the space will include offices, work areas, and a cafe’

“We hope that we can foster an environment of creativity,” Henderson said.

The building was once home to Opp’s bank and later, a jewelry store. The space is currently undergoing renovations before the Covington Exchange can officially open.

“We’ll be tackling this in a few phases, possibly, depending on our funding. Phase 1 will start pretty soon, which will include the exterior of our downtown building and then, obviously, inside,” Henderson said.

So far, members have discovered a wealth of history during the cleanup process.

“We have some historical elements in this building that we’re going to not only uncover, but try to preserve as best as we can as we move forward and try to keep things modern and fresh,” Henderson said.

Henderson couldn’t give a timeline as to when the center will officially open. But that information will be released in the weeks ahead.

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