BY Dollita Okine, 10:52am July 11, 2024,

Woman told she can’t open her braid shop because there are too many similar shops: ‘I’m only here to survive’

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Awa Diagne claims she was informed she couldn’t open her shop because it is similar to surrounding businesses. Due to South Fulton’s like-use zoning code, which prohibits new businesses with like-use from opening within a mile of an existing business, the South Fulton business owner disclosed that her braid shop has been unable to open in the Campbellton Fairburn Road shopping plaza for three months.

According to her, the city’s actions have cost her thousands of dollars. Diagne maintains that there isn’t another African braid store within 15 minutes from where hers is.

She told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln, “I wish they all know, I’m not here to compete with nobody, I’m only here to survive.”

Diagne went on to say that neither her landlord nor the city of South Fulton’s business license office informed her about the zoning code.

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Helen Willis, whose district covers Diagne’s store, told Channel 2 that the zoning policy is not intended to discourage small business owners, but rather to broaden the city’s commercial base.

Given that the plaza now has a hair salon, beauty supply store, and barbershop, Willis pointed out that the city wants to stay competitive with areas around.

She expressed, “We want an environment where we can have economic fairness and diverse retail.”

The councilwoman mentioned that Ardens Garden, Chipotle, and a new Chick-fil-A in South Fulton are all operating under the zoning code.

According to the outlet, the city invites business owners to collaborate with the city’s economic development department to identify locations that comply with this rule.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 11, 2024


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