As the city emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has 'fresh ideas and a new vigor for entrepreneurship,' said Mayor Bill Partington.
Ormond Beach remains strong, and thanks to its residents, is a place where businesses and community thrives, said Mayor Bill Partington during his address at the 2021 State of the City event, held at Oceanside Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“Ormond Beach is coming out of this challenging time with fresh ideas and a new vigor for entrepreneurship," Partington said. "We have discovered that any problem feels lighter with the help of your friends and neighbors by your side.”
This year's event, held in conjunction with the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce, was attended by about 100 people, including local businessmen and women, elected officials and community leaders. The theme of the address was "Ormond Beach: Thrive Here," with the mayor's address and the accompanying video focusing on the city's accomplishments over the past year.
“Our city is vibrant and innovative, while maintaining that longtime nostalgic charm of small town life with great amenities," Partington said. "We are known for being close-knit and caring and always willing to welcome other voices and opinions to the table.”
Open for business
The video portion of the luncheon featured several businesses who have successfully emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted many industries in 2020. After the city hit an unemployment rate high of 15% in April 2020, the rate has since decreased by 10 percentage points to 5% as of July 2021. Since January, 900 jobs have been added to the city.
“This thriving economic indicator demonstrates the upturn for many companies in our city," said the mayor in the video address.
Among the companies featured in the video were S.R. Perrott, Germfree and ABB Installation Products, Inc. Representatives from all three companies were recognized with the city's Awards for Civic Engagement.
In the video, City Commissioners Rob Littleton and Troy Kent shone a spotlight on the amount of new businesses that have opened in the city. Littleton shared that Volusia County ranks 13th out of the 67 Florida counties for the number of new businesses opened, a figure which increased by 25% from 2019 to 2020.
“We want to maximize opportunities for residents to give a good foundation and live their passions while supporting their families doing something they love," Littleton said.
Kent reported that the city issued 303 new business licenses in 2020, an increase of 17% from 2019. To date in 2021, the city has issued 114 new business licenses.
Some of the new businesses that have opened in the city include Burntwood Tavern, SoNapa Grille, and Woof Gang Bakery. Others, such as the Pumphouse, the beachside Publix and the second Ace Hardware store, are in the works.
“The people of Ormond Beach are strong and wise and good friends and neighbors," said Partington in the video. "They’ve been busy putting together the pieces that will keep our city the crown jewel of Volusia County so that together we can keep thriving right here at home.”
At the conclusion of the luncheon, the mayor also presented the annual Awards for Civic Engagement.
The recipients were as follows:
- Germfree Laboratories
- Michele and Gary Connors, of S.R. Perrott
- ABB Installations Products, Inc.
- Debbie Cotton, president and CEO of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce
- Joe Daniels, Ormond Beach resident
- Victor and Kathleen Liviccori, of the Casements Guild
“It’s an honor to be able to recognize the incredible people — just a few of them — who care about our city and work so hard to make it an amazing place," Partington said.