More and more businesses are opening back up six months after Hurricane Michael

Published: Apr. 11, 2019 at 8:15 AM CDT
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Several area businesses are still working to recover after Hurricane Michael. Some residents say they feel a sense of victory every time a business reopens.

Bay County Chamber of Commerce President Carol Roberts said many stores are still recovering from the storm but many others are reopening. She said the storm has also taken some businesses away completely.

"The business community was hugely impacted and getting a community back up in running, businesses are key," said Roberts.

Roberts said local businesses have made strides to get back up and running.

"We're excited to see so many openings on a daily basis. Our businesses are coming back online," said Roberts.

Roberts said some businesses, like Bowlarama Lanes, are closing down for good after the hurricane, but it's also an opportunity to attract new businesses to the area; like History Class Brewing Company.

"We wanted to open a brewery because oftentimes breweries are the place locals congregate. If you look at the story of downtown revitalizations, breweries are usually the epicenter of the revival," said History Class Brewing Company Co-Owner Allan Branch.

Downtown Panama City took a big hit from Hurricane Michael. Many new business owners like Branch are hoping to inspire more business to come to the area.

"We have to work together, we have to collaborate. We have to rebuild the city together," said Branch.

Branch said they plan on opening the brewery in early August.

Roberts said the Bay County Chamber of Commerce is currently working on a survey to collect information about businesses opening and closing in our area. She said the information is important to find ways to stimulate our local economy.

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