Downtown Businesses Offering Up Encouragement

By: Ashley Arnold
By: Ashley Arnold

A small crowd came together Tuesday evening at the McKenzie Gateway Park to celebrate what they're calling a game changer.

"If you're interested in coming downtown you better do it soon because the rent is going to go up," said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki because it's going to be a prime location."

With construction underway for the marina project and several new business calling the area home, Mayor Brudnicki may be on to something.

Over the past year, downtown Panama City has seen it's share of changes to bring the area back to life, now it seems like that hard work is paying off.

"Businesses are at the heart of any kind of revitalization that we have to do down here," said Panama City commissioner John Kady.

At least 10 new business have opened their doors in the area and have chosen to stay. One such business is Bees and Buttercups, co-owned by Laura Scott who says there are a variety of reasons that caused her to choose their current location.

"We looked around a lot of different places, Lynn Haven, the beach, downtown, we just really like the environment down here," Scott said. "It's all small business owners, a lot of the owners have been here a while they know the area, there's definitely a community among the business owners."

That encouraging community working together made a big difference and while Scott says things have been a little slow, she thinks a buzz will be picking up soon.

"There is more activity going on and now that the weather is warmer and people are on vacation we're starting to see more and more people downtown."

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