An extended-hours bank branch, an express medical clinic and a tropical fish store are among the newest businesses opening in Columbia County.
On July 19, Georgia Bank & Trust Co. celebrated the grand opening of its second Evans branch, on Washington Road across from Wal-Mart. The bank is one of several new businesses that have opened recently in the Martinez-Evans area.
The branch is a prototype for the company and features extended weekday and Saturday hours and seven drive-through windows.
It is the 10th location for Georgia Bank & Trust, offering a full-service branch with more convenient hours, said bank President and CEO Dan Blanton. The nearby Evans branch at Ronald Reagan Drive will remain open.
"This community has grown to such a degree we feel excited to offer two locations in Evans," Blanton said.
Another recently opened business stressing convenience is MedExpress Clinic, at 400 Town Park Blvd., next to The Carpet Shop on North Belair Road in Evans. Owner Phil McElhaney said the clinic, which specializes in treating minor illnesses and injuries, represents a convenient alternative to urgent-care or emergency room treatment.
MedExpress specializes in treating nonchronic illnesses such as colds, sore throats and minor burns and wounds. Most services range in price from $49 to $69, he said.
Patients are treated by certified nurse practitioners under the supervision of a physician, McElhaney said. With hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, the clinic is open when most medical practices close, he said.
"What we consider ourselves is a complement to the family practice physicians," he said. MedExpress can send records to patients' regular doctors for follow-ups.
Any medication prescribed at MedExpress can be filled in-house or at an outside pharmacy. MedExpress is designed for uninsured people, but people with insurance can file claims with their insurers to be reimbursed for care.
Also opening recently in Martinez was Bob's Tropical Fish on Old Petersburg Road near Baston Road. Owner Bob Hockman moved his store into a new, larger building about three months ago.
"It's wonderful. Business is great. We haven't missed a beat," Hockman said. "We look for higher and higher sales, and the customers love it."
He said the store is brighter, easier to access and 2,000 square feet larger than the other store in Augusta.
In other business news, the Evans Wal-Mart celebrates its grand reopening Thursday after completing a remodeling of the store.
Barbaritos Southwest Grill and Cantina, It's Your Secret lingerie store, The Bagel Factory and Khalid's Mediterranean Cafe have closed in recent months.
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