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As the country continues to recover from a slumping economy, Palm Coast continues to prosper.
In 2011, Palm Coast had approximately $550 million in taxable sales, an 8.32% increase from 2010, when the total was about $507 million, according to numbers released by the Florida Department of Revenue.
Palm Coast accounted for 79.34% of all countywide taxable sales in 2011, which was a jump from when it had 64.21% of the 2007 total.
City Manager Jim Landon said athletics tournaments and events have brought more visitors to town — which has stimulated Palm Coast’s economy despite the national slump. Since 2006, taxable sales in the city have increased from about $465.9 million to $550 million — about a 6% increase.
Last month, the Tourist Development Council announced tourism in Flagler County was up 77% during the first quarter compared with 2011.
“I think it’s showing that our efforts to support our small businesses (is working),” Landon said Friday.
Palm Coast will host Small Business Saturday on Aug. 4, which is a day designed to get residents to spend at least $25 with a small business in Flagler County.
It all ties into the City Council's Prosperity 2021 plan, Landon said.
“And it validates that our efforts are working,” he said, specifically noting the addition of restaurants and things to do, like the EPIC Theatres, that have brought people to town and enticed them to spend dollars here.
Joe Roy, area manager of the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center, said the numbers prove that the large, corporate retailers are looking at Palm Coast. They now view the demographics as a favorable market to open up a location, he said.
“They are coming in ahead of the curve,” Roy said. “I think for what's going on here. This is really huge.”
In 2006, Flagler County had about $790.4 million in taxable sales. That number dropped 10.11% to about $710.5 in 2007. In 2011, the total was about $693.3 million. Overall, the county has dropped about 12% since 2006. The totals account for all the municipalities in the county, including unincorporated Flagler County.
Flagler’s drop is in the middle of the pack compared to its two neighboring counties to the north and south. St. Johns County is down about 6% over the last six years, going from about $2.523 billion in 2006, to about $2.339 billion in 2011. Volusia County is down about 21%, going from about $7.122 billion in 2006, to $5.691 billion last year.
Despite the downturn countywide and to the north and south, Palm Coast’s economy has steadily increased since 2006 to the tune of about $85 million.
“Everybody is winning,” Roy said. “And when they win, the small businesses begin to win.”
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