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Category archives for: Business & Economy

Single-Family Home Permits Up 29% in 1st Quarter as Construction in Palm Coast Churns

| April 2, 2014

Some 126 construction permits were issued for single-family homes in Flagler County in the first three months of the year, 88 of them in Palm Coast and 34 in the unincorporated part of the county.

Farewell To Bookstores:
Why I Won’t Miss Books-A-Million

| March 30, 2014

The closure of Books-A-Million is not as bad as it sounds: the chain bookstore was not living up to its billing as a cultural hub, and bookstores these days are becoming irrelevant thanks to Amazon, audio books and Google, which make the world’s libraries immediately accessible at a click.

Flagler Unemployment Creeps Up Again, to 9.4%, But Labor Force and Net Jobs Grow

| March 28, 2014

Flagler County’s unemployment rate again rose in February, to 9.4 percent, a decimal-point increase over the previous month and some 80 more people went on unemployment. But The county’s overall employment went up sharply, by 364 (for a total of 31,976), and the county’s labor force went up even more, by 442–both signs of growing strength in the local economy as more workers seem encouraged to join the labor force, and more workers are actually finding jobs.

The End: Palm Coast’s Books-A-Million, Flagler’s Only General-Interest Bookstore, Is Closing

| March 27, 2014

Books-A-Million in Palm Coast on Wednesday announced an everything-must-go sale ahead of closure, ending the town’s very brief romance with a bookstore larger than an attic. The company lost money in 2013. There is no known replacement for the store, a mainstay of the Target shopping center.

Marketing 2 Go, Palm Coast Pioneer in Social Media, Celebrates 4 Years in Business

| March 19, 2014

It was four years ago this month that Cindy Dalecki launched Marketing 2 Go, her own start-up in the emerging but often intractable world of social media–a world almost everyone needs, especially in business, but few understand, and fewer still can navigate to their advantage.

Palm Coast Scrambles To Right Its Way After Discovery That Bulldog Drive Is a County Road

| March 5, 2014

Palm Coast has never owned Bulldog Drive, a county road since 1956, though the city is widening the street, has acquired land alongside it and has engaged in an epic battle with business owner Gus Ajram as if the right of way were Palm Coast’s. City and county are speeding toward formalizing the city’s ownership.

Palm Coast’s Entrepreneur Night Taps Into a Diversity of Niches, Pollinating Local Business

| February 28, 2014

In its two years on the Palm Coast business scene, Ky Ekinci’s monthly Entrepreneur Night has grown from a gathering of 20 people who knew each other to an event that consistently draws more than 100 people from all walks of business.

Ailing Palm Harbor Shopping Center Poised To Revitalize Itself as Bigger Island Walk

| February 14, 2014

The remaking of Palm Harbor shopping center as Island Walk, with more and bigger stores in the old but semi-vacant heart of Palm Coast, has broad support despite a few unanswered questions, among them the likelihood that the shopping center will have enough tenants to fill the new space.

A Gas Station at the Corner of Pine Lakes and Wynnfield? Property Rights, Not Palm Coast, Would Prevail

| February 11, 2014

The Palm Coast City Council says it is powerless to stop a Cocoa-based company from building a gas station at the until-now wooded corner bordering the entirely residential W-Section, as the site has always been zoned commercial.

December’s Palm Coast Tornado Focus of Emergency Alert Survey in CodeRED Study

| February 3, 2014

The City of Palm Coast is participating in a new University of Missouri-Columbia research study regarding emergency tornado notification–and asking residents who were in Palm Coast on Dec. 14, when the tornado struck, to take part in the survey and help improve emergency response and safety measures.

Do You TALKiT? Palm Coast Venture Looks to Revolutionize Social Media With Voice App

| January 24, 2014

TALKiT, a new app created by Palm Coast’s Curtis Ceballos and that will launch on Memorial Day, aims to give voice to texting and to revolutionize the social media landscape with an innovation that has no rivals as yet. The venture is catching the attention of Flagler County’s economic development department.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

Palm Coast Mayor Declares State of Local Emergency as Tornado Details Emerge

| December 16, 2013

The state of local emergency does not release state or federal aid dollars, but it gives the city more freedom and authority to address the storm’s aftermath such as expediting permitting, scheduling more debris and trash removal than normal and applying for state support.

Palm Coast Again Pitches New City Hall, No Referendum, as Chamber Orchestrates Support

| November 12, 2013

Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon on Tuesday choreographed a presentation focused on a $9 million city hall in Town Center he said can be built mostly with existing dollars–and without a referendum–as the Flagler Chamber of Commerce and the Palm Coast Observer worked on a letter-writing campaign to sway council members, who may vote on the plan next week.

Justices Skeptical of Red-Light Cameras as Supreme Court Hears Case Affecting Palm Coast

| November 7, 2013

With one insistent exception, Florida Supreme Court justices on Thursday strongly questioned the legality of city ordinances that permitted red-light traffic cameras that spread around Florida before 2010, when the state standardized those systems. Cities like Palm Coast may have to refund fines should the court rule against the local ordinances.

Palm Coast Getting Fleeced of Red-Light Camera Dollars, Harming Local Economy

| November 1, 2013

In September, the 43 red-light cameras in Palm Coast generated $255,740 in fines, what would work out to an annual total of $3 million. The state and ATS, the private company running the system, took more than seven times the revenue share left Palm Coast, which means that the overwhelming majority of the money is leaving the local economy.

Unearned Audacity: On Economic Development, Flagler Tells Voters to Drop Dead

| October 27, 2013

State law requires Flagler County to ask voters permission in a referendum, every 10 years, to give new companies tax subsidies. The Flagler County Commission wants to trash that law and let a supermajority of four commissioners make the decision for voters instead. It’s the latest example of a commission more enamored of its power than in tune with voters.

Taking Competition Seriously, FPC Focuses Its Own Promotional Video on Economic Impact

| October 18, 2013

An eight-minute promotional and marketing video about Flagler Palm Coast High School, produced by students, reflects the intense competition even public schools now face to stay relevant, and is catching the eye of economic development officials, who see it as a means of broadening the county’s story and potential to prospective residents and businesses.

Eighteen Months In, Palm Coast Observer Retrenches Back to Once a Week

| September 25, 2013

After scoring a series of successes in the Daytona Beach News-Journal’s backyard and launching an ambitious effort to go head-to-head with the twice-weekly News-Tribune a little over a year and a half ago, the Palm Coast Observer is doing what most newspapers have had to do to survive: it’s cutting back.

Palm Coast Data Parent Warns Grimly: Don’t Expect “Profitability in Near Term Or at All”

| September 17, 2013

In the most sobering annual report to investors to date, Palm Coast Data parent Amrep Corp. raises numerous questions about the long-term viability of its operations as debt, recurring losses and competition burden its prospects–and those of what was once Palm Coast’s largest private employer.

Swipe 4 the Kids: Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth Lauds New Credit Card Venture

| September 11, 2013

It was an unusual endorsement from Gail Wadsworth, Flagler County’s clerk of court, before her Rotary Club Tuesday, but using her own office as an example, she touted the power of a new credit card transaction-fee company’s mechanism as an effective way for local businesses to raise large sums of money for their favorite children’s programs–at no new cost to businesses or customers.

Flagler Chamber Signals More Political Engagement With New Government Affairs Director

| September 3, 2013

In the latest signal of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce’s growing political profile, the chamber on Tuesday announced that it was creating the position of government affairs director, and appointing Gretchen Smith to fill it. Smith has been the chamber’s communications director since joining the chamber five years ago.

Firehouse Subs Marks 10 Years in Palm Coast As Community Ties Aid Longevity

| August 26, 2013

Monday afternoon Palm Coast’s Firehouse Subs celebrated its tenth anniversary, $8 million in business and considerable donations to local fire houses with visits from its core constituents—firefighters—but also company CEO Don Fox, Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, several other city council and county commission members, and of course franchise owner David Hause and his wife Melinda.

Court Injunction Sought to Stop Palm Coast’s Tree Removal Around Palm Harbor Center

| August 9, 2013

Calling Palm Coast’s tree removal illegal, resident Dennis McDonald filed an injunction in circuit court Thursday seeking to halt removals planned for road-widening and as part of a redevelopment of the Palm Harbor shopping center that may significantly alter the character of the area.

Why Palm Coast Is Alarmed: Vivint Home-Security Solicitors Dogged By History of Deception

| August 7, 2013

It’s not just Palm Coast: Vivint faces recurring findings of deceptive practices and misrepresentation in several states, according to Better Business Bureau records. The company has agreed to settlement orders issued either by a court or by the state attorney generals of at least six states to end aggressive and misleading sales tactics similar to those reported in Palm Coast.

Palm Coast Proposes to Increase Its General Fund Budget by $700,000 and Add 9 Positions

| July 10, 2013

For the first time in seven years, property values have increased in Palm Coast, if only fractionally. Even so, residents will likely see a small property tax rate increase that for most would mean a slightly higher tax bill as the city continues to balance tight budgets with residents’ demands for services, and loosen the tight belt somewhat.

It’s Back: Gang of Six Ex-Council Members Want Palm Coast to Build a New City Hall

| July 3, 2013

Ex-Mayor Jim Canfield leads the group of ex-council members asking the Palm Coast City Council to appoint a commission to study the financing and building of a new city hall. Despite warnings of the consequences from one of its own, the council agreed to take up the matter next week.

Palm Coast Sours on Traffic Cameras, Calling Fines “Outrageous,” “Overkill” and “Unfriendly”

| June 25, 2013

In a surprising and radical shift, Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon used harsh words to describe the city’s red-light camera program, saying that while the system makes intersections safer, its harsh punishments are out of proportion with the crime, and Palm Coast’s drivers–and the city’s image–are suffering as a result. But he is less clear on how to improve the system, which he does not want dismantled.

Speculative Bust: How Widening Old Kings Road Left Palm Coast on Hook for $6.7 Million

| May 16, 2013

Palm Coast borrowed millions from its own utility fund to complete the Old Kings Road widening on the assumption that the economy would pick up and enable the city to re-finance with bonds. That never happened. Now the city is looking to recoup its money from property owners along the road, who’d agreed to a special taxing district but with optimistic assumptions of their own that never panned out.

Sheriff Opens Palm Coast Precinct at City Market Place, Halving Cost, Not Space Needs

| May 10, 2013

On Friday, the Sherif’s Office office opened its newest Palm Coast precinct, at City Market Place, a two-storefront 2,600-square foot space at $2,.000 a month that’ll add new life to the struggling shopping center in the heart of town, and a few doors down from the Palm Coast city offices.

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