Ybor City Development Corporation

Ybor City Development Corporation

Client: Ybor City Development Corporation
Industry: Economic Development/Government

Challenge:

The COVID-19 pandemic is a very serious and widespread issue and the onset of the lockdowns introduced considerable uncertainty to the business community. The pandemic induced economic damage to Ybor City. Ybor City Development Corporation wanted to learn the effects of COVID-19 on Ybor City businesses and employees.

Solution:

HCP worked with the Ybor City Development Corporation to engage business owners and employees in a survey of their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary objective was to develop an understanding of the impact on these community businesses and assess how best to help.

Ybor City Development Corporation (YCDC) is a division of the City of Tampa’s Economic and Urban Development Department and facilitates the development, redevelopment, economic revitalization, and general improvement of Ybor City’s Historic District.

With a total of 110 participants, there were 72 business owners and 38 small business employees. More than half of the 68 business owners surveyed claimed that they had to lay off workers, furlough them, or some combination of the two; and 66% are worried about whether their business could survive the shutdown. The majority (57%) of small business workers are considered essential employees and 40% of the surveyed employees have seen a salary reduction of at least 50% since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Ybor’s vibrant landscape of businesses, which are overwhelmingly independently owned, succeeds due to their collocation. While many of the businesses fall into a couple industries, an opportunity lies in diversifying the economy. This would help protect Ybor against economic shocks, as seen by the effects of this pandemic.