Florala adds 6 new merchants

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

With the news that Florala is welcoming six new businesses, and possibly a seventh, city’s sales tax revenue is expected to go up, while the unemployment numbers go down, said Mayor Robert Williamson on Tuesday.

“And that’s welcome news,” Williamson said.

The majority of those businesses are restaurants, he said.

“We’ve already had Dem Acres and Log Cabin BBQ, both barbecue restaurants, open,” he said. “We’ve been told that Bean’s Diner has reopened, and that the former Mexican restaurant is reopening in a few weeks with Asian or Korean cuisine.

“It looks like things are on the upswing,” Williamson said.

Dem Acres is located in the heart of town, while Log Cabin BBQ has opened in the former Starlight Grille location on U.S. Hwy. 331 just south of the four-way stop.

“And that’s not all that’s happening,” he said. “The old GoCo location on 331 (a convenience store) has been purchased, and there are plans to reopen. It also looks like we’ll have a pet grooming business by the end of March, and it looks like there’s a new day spa in the works.

“In total, that’s six for sure, and another in the works,” Williamson said. “We also have other things that we’re working on, as far as economic development wise. But I guess you could say we’re always working on something.”

While he couldn’t specifically pinpoint a reason behind the economic growth, Williamson said he and other city officials were thankful to see it.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” he said, as to the reason. “I’d like to hope that the aesthetic approach done by the city had played a role. I know it has something to do with the location of the town and the high traffic count. After all, we are last city in Alabama before you cross into Florida. It is significantly less expensive to run a business here and your overhead is less.

“With all of those things combined, why should you open a business anywhere else than Florala?” he asked. “It makes sense to me.”

Williamson estimated the number of new employees from the business openings at 20.

On Mon., Feb. 27, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce will officially welcome five new Chamber members – the most ever done in one day, he said.

“That’s amazing to see,” he said. “I hope the trend continues.”