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Despite The Epidemic, Certain Parts Of Tampa Bay Are Seeing Business Growth; Local Businesses Require Community Support

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local companies is self-evident.

“Unfortunately, some businesses did not make it through,” Kelly Flannery, President and CEO of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce, stated.

Local businesses faced numerous obstacles as a result of the pandemic, which forced them to adapt to numerous changes.

“Within their business model, they’ve made certain tweaks and pivots to have online offers and curbside pickup,” Flannery said.

While some businesses have had to close due to the economic downturn, there have been regions in Tampa that have grown.

“What’s been particularly thrilling is watching new firms emerge despite a tough economic forecast,” Flannery said.

“New enterprises and structures are being constructed. “There are some historic buildings being renovated,” she continued.

Not only are new businesses sprouting up, but existing businesses are expanding as well.

“It’s been fantastic to see established Tampa firms continue to grow during this time,” Flannery said.

South Tampa has recently experienced a lot of development.

“We did 27 ribbon cuttings in 2020 and more than 30 in 2021, so while we didn’t get to participate in every single new business that opened on the South Tampa peninsula, we did get to participate in many of them, and we see that growth from year to year as an indication of a healthy economic environment and that the business community is thriving not only in south Tampa but throughout Tampa Bay,” said Flannery.

In 2021, there were 236 new businesses and 1,027 renewals in South Tampa.

According to local analysts, this is a good sign of things to come.

“We’re going to see more growth in the future.” We’re aware that new firms are opening. We communicate with them on a daily basis. “We’re assisting them in getting their doors open,” Flannery explained.

“We anticipate continuing to move into what does the next normal look like for our community in 2022,” she said.

One of the businesses that opened during the pandemic was Espresso Yourself Coffee Shop.

“There aren’t a lot of local coffee businesses around,” Nirali Vora, owner of Espresso Yourself Coffee Shop, remarked.

The store is conveniently located off of South Dale Mabry Highway.

“It’s amazing because so many people in the area come up to me and say, ‘We love to support your business,'” Vora explained.

In the heart of South Tampa, they’re introducing Italian coffee and pastries.

“Our food is of exceptional quality. We utilize only the highest quality beans, milk, and other ingredients. Even our syrups are imported from Italy,” Vora explained.

Despite the fact that the South Tampa area has seen commercial growth in the last two years, community support is critical as we enter the third year of the pandemic.

“It’s been difficult because many people are unaware of this shop, therefore it’s difficult for us to stay operating,” Vora explained.

Despite the fact that our local economy is improving, experts say it is more crucial than ever to shop locally.

“As convenient as it is to get on our phone, open up that app, order something, and have it sent, it’s really important that we evaluate throughout the year whether we can spend the extra 10 minutes to drive down the street and get that good or that service from our neighbors,” said Flannery.

“We rely on you to come in and simply assist us in growing our business so that we can stay up with this,” Vora said.

“Tampa will continue to be a place to be and a place to move.” As we like to say, it’s the place to live, work, play, and stay,” added Flannery.