Study offers ideas to boost Carrabelle economy

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 01:52 PM.

While some types of retail categories, such as gasoline and food service, are found to be “fully served,” a general store is highlighted as a business opportunity for an experienced retailer.

 “It appears that there is insufficient space in the retail market for multiple new stores,” reads the study. “The data does appear to reveal a market opportunity for what we might term a ‘general store’ (which) could support the community and visitors, in a number of product areas including clothing, home furnishings, sundries, appliances, sporting goods and with a variety of rental opportunities for tourists like bikes, fishing gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and similar.”

Stantec also recommends Carrabelle investigate aquaculture as an industry.

The study said Carrabelle’s many vacant condominiums could become an asset if they are converted to assisted living units, which it said would create many jobs and boost the economy as a whole.

Based on input during the public workshop, residents said Carrabelle’s assets are access to outdoor activities and natural beauty, the waterfront and barrier islands, seafood, lack of pollution and traffic, and historic resources like the lighthouse and museums.

Residents said they would like to see more jobs and shopping resources; an increase in ecotourism and RV travelers; access to technology; end of life care and affordable accessible healthcare.

St. George Island, Wal-Mart, Apalachicola, Wakulla County, Port St. Joe, the Asian seafood industry, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were all perceived as competition during the workshop.

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