BRADENTON -- At Manatee's South County and Midtown CRA's, success is shining through. The plans have taken root and the results are even better than expected. Midtown is the star of success, and South county is coming up not far behind. That's what happens when the right people are working with the right businesses to make a neighborhood all it can be.
Being at "the brink of skyrocketing" is what Allison Hewitt called it. She and April Childers have been performing like true champions when it comes to rescuing Manatee County blight from the jaws of down and out. They both saw that the weathered buildings and forgotten infrastructure couldn't hide the spirit and strength of the generation-deep residents.They took that spirit, talent and knowledge and drove it to the doors of promise.
Their bake-offs, car shows and farmers market, topped with some trimmed edges, good information and great advice have yielded promising results: business is up, profits are up and so is morale. They aren't taking a victory lap yet though. There is so much they still want to do, but it seems that the south part of town is in pretty good hands.
The CRA's took a neighborhood survey of 250 business people and the returns told a very good story. There were 49 businesses expecting to continue to hire, 45 buying equipment, and crime was reported to be going down. See for yourself: get down south of town and check out a success story in the making. Johnny at J&J Bar-B-Que, or any of the many other business owners will be glad to attest to the area's burgeoning success.
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