Downtown businesses working to fund Christmas decorations after city cutbacks

Business groups hoping to save Savannah Christmas decorations

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - As we get closer to holiday decoration time in downtown Savannah, some are wondering where funding for those decorations will come from now that the City of Savannah has pulled tax dollars from those kinds of initiatives.

The holidays are right around the corner and a big part of the experience for people visiting - and those who live and work in the downtown area - are the decorations.

We’ve gotten several calls from business owners asking about this year’s decorations. What we’ve found out so far is that there are several business organizations that have come together to come up with a plan, and that they hope to execute that plan in time for the holidays.

You might remember the city was forced to cut nearly $150,000 from special events, sponsorships, and community celebrations. Those cuts were made in July when Savannah City Council made amendments to the 2018 budget, and knowing they had to approve a budget without revenue generated by a fire fee. This year’s Fourth of July celebrations almost didn’t happen because of the budget cuts. If it wasn’t for local businesses pitching in, and even money from the mayor’s own wallet, the firework display might not have happened.

We’ve contacted the Downtown Business Association and they tell us they’ve been a part of several meetings and discussions to figure out how to come up with funds for the holiday decorations. They say they’re working to finalize a plan and will give us an update next week. They also say there still will be decorations.

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