DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A boom of new businesses are opening or expanding in downtown Dayton. From unique goods to wedding gowns, several small businesses celebrated their grand opening this month.

With the belief the worst of pandemic in the past, and the success of Out on Fifth, business owners said there’s new opportunity downtown.

Set-up as a pop-up in the Oregon District Friday evening, Bree Thomas and her mother, Shelly, started their custom laser wood engraving business during the pandemic.’

“We thought we could take this laser and create gifts for people who shop late for gifts like us, like last-minute, really high-quality detail and local,” Thomas said.

Gem City Laser launched last August as an online Etsy shop. They moved into The Hub in and started attending vendor shows before making the dive into opening a brick and mortar on Jefferson Street.

“Why not take my foundation and all of my creativity and where I learned everything from and just bring it back here, and create something really big,” Thomas said.

Also celebrating its grand opening this month, The Bridal House in the Oregon District.

The owner, Amina Chakhaligde, is from Turkey. Her business started in her home in Dayton, but she wanted to expand to offer custom and traditional wedding dresses, alterations and accessories.

“It was my dream to open the business for all bridals, which is internationally, from here, from everywhere, to bring unique, special dresses for the bridals,” Chakhaligde said.

Not new, but in a new location, Heart Mercantile, an Oregon District boutique stocked with unique goods, has expanded.

The three owners hosted a grand opening Friday.

“Just having more space is good in general,” Heart Mercantile co-owner Kait Gilcher said. “We can fit more people in here, more people can shop, they don’t feel super cramped like they did in our old space.”

Gilcher said their business quickly outgrew its space, with plans to expand their brick and mortar and online shops.

Gilcher said having a business in the Oregon District brings the benefit of Out on Fifth driving foot traffic.

“Not having the cars going through the district, you know and that element has been really nice, and having people to be out on the street, hop around to the different shops with their drinks has been cool,” Gilcher said.