Pandemic start-up businesses will help Florida's growth

Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-04 22:20:23-04

CAPE CORAL, FLa. — New businesses are popping up everywhere lately. Which is just what Florida needs to accommodate its fast-growing population.

Starting a business during a global pandemic must have its challenges. Tino Wathanaphone’s family opened Captain Hooks last fall. He says they just wanted to accomplish a dream of becoming business owners.

"Going into it and opening, we didn't know what type of feedback we would get if we would have any customers,” he said.

The restaurant joins entrepreneurs across the county to help Americans get back to work and bringing a new treasure to Cape Coral. 24% more people in the U.S applied for new business identification numbers than the year before the pandemic hit, according to U.C Census Bureau.

Wathanaphone says the restaurant has a been a blessing to his family in more ways than one.

"A lot of the stuff that we do see here at Captain Hooks is done by our own hands and by our own family. Even my little brothers and my mother," he said. "She's actually going through cancer right now. So, this restaurant is a blessing for us. A big part of what we do here is just fighting together as a family and working hard."

Florida's Small Business Development Center estimates small businesses will create 70% of new jobs needed to accommodate residents by 2030.

Wathanaphone tells me his family missed the deadlines for grants, but any new business owners should do their research before getting started

While the first few years of a new business can be the most financially challenging, has a list of grant programs available to small businesses in Florida.