Small business app on the rise in Tallahassee, up 81% since 2015

As we end the pandemic, new business applications in Tallahassee are on the rise. In 2020, the Office for Economic Vitality got more than 7,000 applications, 81% more than in 2015. These data prove to OEV officials that Leon County’s nearby economy is recuperating from the pandemic. Director Cristina Paredes said the business continued on due to three basic words: Love your local. She said it began as a small business initiative 4 years prior however has gone to the phrase “love your locals” because of the pandemic.

This simple slogan is part of a larger movement to get more people to shop local, especially during the holidays.

“We encourage all of our residents and businesses alike to take the opportunity to explore and experience a local business,” Paredes said.

For Toy Nation owner Debra Eyler the holiday season is the busiest for her business.

Like most businesses, the pandemic wasn’t easier for her.

“Most toy stores make about 50% of their income in the last three months of the year,” Eyler said.

“We had to basically close down and then once we opened back up we were mostly curb side pick up,” Eyler said.

Paredes said keeping small businesses open during the pandemic helps the local economy.

For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents goes directly back into the community. The U.S. Bureau of labor statistic found that small businesses create over 400% more net jobs than large businesses.

“We take money in, then we spend money,” Eyler said. “We go to local restaurants and eat so the money stays in the community.” The office of economic vitality set up an online directory with all the businesses involved.

Join their small business directory by reaching out to their office.

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