As part of National Small Business Week, April 30 – May 6, the City of Orlando is recognizing the great contributions of the entrepreneurs and small business owners in our Orlando Main Streets, the City’s nine unique neighborhood commercial districts that drive our region’s economy by providing jobs, goods and services and opportunities for our residents.
Our Main Streets program is also home to Orlando Tech Association, the City’s digital Main Street, connecting, promoting and fostering the growth of technology companies in Orlando. Since the program’s inception in 2008, our Main Streets have welcomed nearly 1,200 new businesses and have created nearly 7,000 full and part-time jobs.
Each Main Street is home to a variety of locally-owned businesses where residents and visitors go to find uncommon and handmade goods, enjoy one-of-a-kind local cuisines and embrace the distinctive culture within each district.
Each district has accomplished so much in the past year. To recognize the growth of each district since Small Business Week 2016, we’ve put together a list highlighting some of our local successes:
- Audubon Park Garden District was awarded the Great American Main Street Award – the highest honor given by Main Street America
- Nineteen Audubon Park Garden District businesses were featured in five well-known publications – including Toronto Sun Magazine, The Boston Globe, Bon Appetit Magazine, Edible Orlando Magazine and USA Today – for reasons to visit Orlando and local Orlando favorites
- Church Street District and its businesses hosted more than 12,000 guests at four large-scale events – the FSU Block Party, ACC Championship Weekend Block Party, NFL Pro Bowl and Wrestlemania
- Pig Floyd’s in Mills 50 District experienced so much success, they were able to open a second location in Lake Nona
- Mills 50 District businesses were featured in national and international in publications, including Thrillist, Amazon Restaurants, HypeOrlando, Delta Sky Magazine and 30 Canadian newspapers as reasons to visit Orlando
- The Milk District – home to more than 30 small businesses – was approved for funding by the City of Orlando, becoming the newest addition to the Orlando Main Streets program
- Collectively, all nine brick and mortar districts welcomed more than 60 new businesses
- The nine brick and mortar districts, along with Orlando Tech Association, added more than 500 full and part-time jobs
I am so proud of these accomplishments, as they represent the strides Orlando has made in becoming the best City for entrepreneurs and small business owners to succeed. I encourage you to make a conscious decision to patronize the small businesses in our Main Streets districts and Downtown Orlando during National Small Business Week to celebrate and show appreciation for the integral part they play in making Orlando the best city in America.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor