June 19th | Dealerships & Small Businesses Focus Group
- The participants discussed the need to increase the economic diversity in the City of Panama City. This would include attracting different types of businesses in order to attract different types of workers and create a more resilient economy.
- The average income in the City of Panama City is significantly lower than that of the State. The average household income in the City is approximately $35,000 as opposed
to the average household income in the State which is approximately $53,000. The group discussed how it is hard to revitalize the economy without the amenities that generally come from a higher paid workforce. These amenities include increased
disposable income to spend on restaurants and entertainment in the area.
- There needs to be a better pipeline from the colleges to the employers in the City of Panama City. The Economic Development Administration has a partnership with Gulf Coast State College to identify programs that match with employer needs, but while this
is successful there is a need for better recruitment of students into the programs and from City of Panama City employers to the enrolled students.
- The participants highlighted how the City code should be modified to allow for and incentivize tourism. The group believed that increasing and diversifying tourism will promote revitalization of the downtown area.