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FOLLOWING DEMAND: Booming town, booming businesses

71 new North Port businesses open in 2023 Q4 alone
North Port Economic Development
Posted at 9:59 PM, Feb 23, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Dozens of people who call North Port home aren't just moving there to escape the cold weather. The city is becoming a hub for people to open their own businesses.

North Port officials reported 71 new businesses opened up shop in the last quarter alone. However, that's not surprising for the city.

"In Q3 of 2023, we had 75 new businesses," Vinnie Mascarenhas, Manager of Economic Development for the City of North Port, said. "In the quarter before that, I believe it was in the 80s."

City leaders said business development is following the trends and demographics of the city.

"People are moving here, and they're getting younger," Mascarenhas said. "They have families. They're more affluent, and they want to work for themselves."

One example of that is Antonio Pereira. He owns the Puerto-Rican inspired fusion restaurant Savor 100x35.

However, it's been a journey.

"It was very hard in the beginning," Pereira said. "I think Covid opened up a lot of new doors for us and to not give up."

The father of four opened a food truck after he lost his job during COVID. Now, he serves his creations on china instead of takeout containers.

"For us, it's been great," Pereira said. "Great feedback from our customers, great support from the community. We're tripling our sales to what we used to do in the food truck."

North Port officials say they're always looking for new businesses. The city is hosting its Quarterly Business Welcome Event on Saturday at City Hall from 10 - 11:30 a.m.