According to the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, the downtown area is seeing a surge in commerce.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, the neighborhood has seen a significant increase in the number of new residents.
Raphael Clemente, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said, “We’re seeing a lot of new investment from outside of this region come into the downtown area and purchase existing buildings and offices with plans to renovate and update them.” Clemente said the Downtown Development Authority is seeing a lot of new investment from outside of the region.
A number of small company owners have reported exponential growth over the previous two seasons following poor sales in the first half of 2020.
The owner of D is for Dog, Inc., Denise Hull, said that Clematis Street used to be “very peaceful,” but that “there’s so much vitality” now that a lot of new people have moved into the neighborhood. “At the end of [last] December, I had 1,000 clients, and now we have an additional 800,” says the entrepreneur.
Hull feels that the moment has come for her to increase her presence in the downtown sector.
“There are a lot of people relocating to the area,” Hull explained. It seems like there’s a massive inflow of individuals from all over the nation.
‘D is for Design’ is the name of her second shop, which opened recently on South Dixie Highway.
It enables other small company owners to have a physical presence while sharing the costs of running the firm as a whole.
I just recognized a need and made the decision to take a big risk and go in with both feet, Hull explained.
Mint Palm Beach and Gypsy are two other vendors that are represented by D are for Design.
Furthermore, the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority is urging small business owners to take advantage of the several funding opportunities that are available:
1. Improvements to the façade
Up to $10,000 in grants is awarded to business owners or property owners for up to 50% of the cost of exterior improvements made to a building’s façade in areas visible from the adjacent street or other streets within the eligible area. These improvements may include but are not limited to: awnings, signs, landscaping, and other similar façade improvements.
2. Assistance with the Grand Opening
Reimbursement of up to $1,000 for expenditures incurred in connection with the grand opening will be provided.
Grant for Entrepreneurial Development
The DDA will provide funding of up to $50,000 to new and existing companies in the DDA District to assist with major, permanent upgrades to existing downtown buildings.