Downtown Sponsor Opportunities now available!

Downtown Sponsor Opportunities now available!

Help Downtown Garner Thrive in 2023!

We cordially invite your business to become a 2023 sponsoring partner in Downtown Garner’s revitalization efforts.

Financial support from our sponsors helps fund events and programming in downtown – funding from Garner’s business community sustains our food truck rodeos, public art projects, and other events that bring people to Downtown Garner.

In addition, being a downtown sponsor is a great way to promote your business at fun, family-friendly community events while helping draw attention to our downtown revitalization efforts.

Sponsor Levels


  • Logo & “Presented by” credit on Downtown Garner’s 2023 public art projects
  • Logo & “Gold Sponsor” credit on event rack cards & direct mail inserts
  • Complimentary booth space at the April Foods Day Food Truck Rodeos
  • Two Downtown Garner t-shirts
  • Annual listing on Downtown Garner website


  • Complimentary booth space at the April Foods Day Food Truck Rodeo
  • Logo & “Silver Sponsor” credit on event rack cards & direct mail inserts
  • One Downtown Garner t-shirt
  • Annual listing on Downtown Garner website


Contact Shayla Douglas at [email protected] or 984-800-7572 to sign on today! To receive all benefits, businesses must sign up by March 1, 2023.

About the Downtown Garner Association

Formed in 2005, the Downtown Garner Association fosters downtown economic revitalization within a context of historic preservation. Downtown Garner is a North Carolina Main Street community; DGA oversees the Main Street program through a public-private partnership with the Town of Garner.

DGA is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible for individuals and businesses. Sponsors will receive a donor acknowledgement letter in thanks for their financial support of DGA’s events and programming in Downtown Garner.

Business Recovery Grant Now Available

Business Recovery Grant Now Available

The Business Recovery Grant Program will issue a one-time payment to an eligible North Carolina business that experienced a significant economic loss due to COVID-19. The application period closes January 31, 2022. 

Two types of grants will be available to an eligible business that suffered an economic loss of at least 20 percent during the pandemic:

  • A hospitality grant will be available to an eligible arts, entertainment, and recreation business, as well as eligible accommodation and food service business such as a hotel, restaurant, and bar (NAICS codes 71 and 72).
  • A reimbursement grant will be available to an eligible business not classified in NAICS Code 71 and 72 that did not receive funding from other relief programs including Paycheck Protection Program, COVID-19 Job Retention Grant, and EIDL Advance.

Garner Resiliency Business Series

Garner Resiliency Business Series

Garner Economic Development is pleased to announce a series of free webinars to help business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The one hour webinars will feature local experts on topics such as cyber security, financial planning, and disaster preparedness. The classes will be held at 10:00am each Tuesday in November. The Garner Chamber of Commerce is hosting the webinars via Zoom. To sign up, please visit their events page.

Garner Resiliency Fund Opens 2nd Round of Grants

Garner Resiliency Fund Opens 2nd Round of Grants

The partnership between The Garner Chamber of Commerce and The Downtown Garner Association launched its first round in April and awarded small grants to 34 local Garner businesses and non-profits totaling $48,000. As the pandemic continues, the decision was made to do another round to help small businesses in and around Garner.


The goal of Round 2.5 is to provide support for businesses that are open but still recovering and struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19 either through restrictions on their business type, reduction in customers due to the pandemic, and/or businesses that have incurred additional expenses to make their places of business safer for the public (installation of barriers, hand sanitizer/dispensers, masks, etc.).

Priority business types for this round include 1) gyms, fitness studios, and indoor fitness, 2) barber, salon, and personal care businesses, 3) local restaurants, and 4) other service businesses especially impacted by COVID-19.

Deadline to apply is September 30th at 5pm.

Gearworks Opens as New Entrepreneurial ‘Bridge Space’ on Main Street

Gearworks Opens as New Entrepreneurial ‘Bridge Space’ on Main Street

The interior of the brick storefront at 120 E. Main St. has shed its dreary look. Walls coated with whiteboard paint are covered with notes and lists written in assorted colors. A large, wall-mounted monitor in the refinished back room displays app data. And remodeled offices with fresh carpet and paint are buzzing with activity.

But it’s not just the physical environment that’s different from when the Town-owned building housed Garner Fire-Rescue administrative staff or, before that, Garner Police Department personnel. These days, Operation 36 —a fast-growing company that uses tech platforms and innovative instructional methods to teach golf to children and adults—is leasing the space. The company signed a lease in September and now has five employees working out of the building. Operation 36 shares office and conference room space with staff and volunteers for the Downtown Garner Association (DGA).

The transformed storefront has been rechristened Gearworks. First announced at the Garner Chamber of Commerce’s annual Connect conference in August, the Gearworks concept involves converting 120 E. Main into a time-limited “bridge space” for small, scalable companies that previously may have been in a co-working space or a home office but are not quite ready for market-rate office space.

The Gearworks initiative is part of a larger strategy by DGA and Garner Economic Development to grow the creative-class and tech cluster in the historic downtown by adding other businesses of a similar type to the mix.

“Gearworks is intended for tech companies, social entrepreneurs and perhaps nonprofits,” Garner Economic Development Director Joe Stallings explains.

A Growing Hub of Creative Entrepreneurship

Downtown Development Manager Mari Howe is excited to add Operation 36 to a roster of Main Street creative and tech companies that includes Rising Stream, GrafixHouse , Foosye, and Garner Underground. She says it’s easy to see why these kinds of businesses are choosing downtown.

“Downtown Garner is uniquely positioned to help creative and tech businesses bridge the gap from small-scale startups to growing companies with a growing workforce,” Howe says. “We’ve heard from several businesses who were growing out of Raleigh’s co-working spaces, but weren’t quite ready for the regular office park gig. Many had their eye on historic buildings in Downtown Garner that offer creative, affordable workspaces while still being close to the region’s bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

“We’re really appreciative of this space,” says Ryan Dailey, co-founder and chief operating officer for Operation 36. “Our staff is excited to be here. It’s a really cool part of town to be in—it’s really upbeat.”

Howe notes that the Downtown Garner environment provides invigorating entrepreneurial support for companies such as Operation 36.

“The entrepreneurial business mix in Downtown Garner essentially serves as a giant tech incubator,” she says. “Gearworks tenants can walk up and down the business district, talking with other tech companies about the start-up process and crowd sourcing input from others who’ve gone through the same problems before.”

Gearworks tenants not only will receive a multitude of benefits; they will also give back to the community. As part of the leasing arrangement, Gearworks tenants agree to participate in some form of community service or mentoring projects while they are leasing space at 120 E. Main. Operation 36 is still working with Garner Economic Development on the details of its service or mentoring.

A New Twist on an Old Game

Operation 36 is a network of over 350 golf professionals in over 300 locations internationally who focus on new players’ long-term development as golfers. The goal of instruction is to help beginner golfers to achieve a score of 36 for nine holes. But there’s a catch: The new golfers start only 25 yards from the hole each hole.

“We fell on top of a really cool concept of starting closer to the hole where anyone—even a beginner—could have success,” Dailey says.

Dailey and Operation 36 co-founder Matt Reagan also decided to make golf instruction a group activity. “It should mirror the successful programs like gymnastics and dance and karate where you’re surrounded by kids of the same age who are working together towards different goals,” Dailey says.

The Operation 36 approach also focuses on getting new golfers out on the course as much as possible. That seems obvious, but not all golf instruction makes that a priority, Dailey and Reagan say.

“You gotta play the game and get out on the golf course to really enjoy what golf has to offer,” Dailey says.

Growing Golfers with Innovative Tech

The company has also developed an app that all of its golf students use (therein lies the tech side of Operation 36). The app enables the students to see their progress over time.

“You can’t improve what you can’t measure. We’re the only company that actually measures whether you’re creating a golfer,” Dailey says.

Awhile back, moms and dads of the youngsters taking lessons with Operation 36 started asking about adapting the company’s methods for adults. As a result, Dailey and Reagan developed instructional options for grownups too.

“It’s a lot less intimidating, and there’s a social aspect” to Operation 36 instruction for adults, Dailey says.

Operation 36 has devised a winning formula for making new golfers of both young people and adults. And, as the company scales up, Gearworks will be a part of that formula. It figures to be the first of many success stories for Downtown Garner’s new bridge space in the coming years.

Article written by Rick Mercier, Communications Director for the Town of Garner.

Full Bloom Opens after 2 Year Historic Renovation

Full Bloom Opens after 2 Year Historic Renovation

Downtown Garner is pleased to announce that Full Bloom Coffee & Craft is now open, marking the successful completion of a three-year public-private partnership between the Garner Revitalization Association, the Town of Garner, the North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center and Full Bloom Coffee Roasters.

With a $75,000 grant from the Main Street Solutions Fund, this partnership helped local entrepreneurs Patrick and Michelle Byrd renovate a historic building in Downtown Garner that originally housed the first bank of Garner in 1910. The Byrds opened Full Bloom Coffee & Craft, a small cafe with a custom bar area and full seating upstairs, on July 5, 2017 following a two-year renovation.

Full Bloom Coffee & Craft is the first Main Street Solutions Fund project to be completed in Wake County.
The Main Street Solutions Fund assists planning agencies and small businesses with efforts to revitalize downtowns by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings. Grants support small businesses in North Carolina Main Street communities, as well as designated Tier 2 and 3 micropolitans and counties.

Since the program’s inception in 2009, 32 communities have been awarded over $4 million in Main Street Solutions Funds. Full Bloom has leveraged the Solutions Fund to create 3 full-time and 3 part-time jobs and invested an additional $2.46 for every $1 pledged by the state.

The Town of Garner worked with the Garner Revitalization Association to apply for and administer the grant during the three-year partnership. The town also committed matching funds from their Façade Grant Program, which is designed to provide financial assistance for improvement projects to the facades of commercial properties in the Central Business District along Main Street in Downtown Garner.

“Full Bloom’s café renovation has already had a positive economic impact on our downtown,” said Mari Howe, Downtown Development Manager for the Town of Garner and the Garner Revitalization Association.

“In the last year alone, we’ve seen three downtown properties purchased, four new businesses attracted to Main Street, and 15 full-time equivalent jobs created or retained by other businesses. The town also invested $2.67 million to start building the new recreation center and design future streetscape improvements in 2016-2017 – part of an $9 million total investment in downtown over the next few years. We expect that economic impact to keep multiplying.”

The Garner Revitalization Association welcomes Full Bloom Coffee & Craft to the historic Downtown Garner business district. The café is currently open Tuesday – Friday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The menu features espresso drinks using Full Bloom’s locally roasted coffee, bakery items, and pressed panini sandwiches. Full Bloom Coffee & Craft will expand their operating hours once they add North Carolina craft beer to the menu in the fall.