Downtown growth continues

Pensacola, Florida – August 23, 2012 – The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board has announced the findings from its comprehensive 2012 Downtown Business Census noting significant gains once again in the number of businesses and the number of jobs populating the downtown.

The number of business units grew from 624 in 2011 to 661 at the same time in 2012 extending a seven year positive trend. 69 new enterprises opened in the downtown during the last year while 32 closed or relocated outside of the downtown boundaries for a net gain of 37 new businesses for the year.

52% of the businesses in downtown experienced an increase in their business health during the past year, while only 12% experienced a decline. Additionally, 31% of downtown enterprises were found to have plans for expansion within the next eighteen months that will include the need for more employees and/or the need for more space.

Employment in the downtown also increased during the past year by almost 4.5% representing a net gain of 429 new downtown jobs from 2011 to 2012. Between 2005 and 2012, a net gain of 1363 new jobs has been created among the businesses of downtown. The industry sectors within downtown accounting for the largest percentages of the job growth during the past year have been: 1.) Health Care and Social Services, 2.) Accommodation and Food Services, and 3.) Professional Scientific & Technical Services. Of the businesses that have been in downtown more than a year, 34% added at least one new employee during the past year.

The majority of downtown Pensacola businesses continue to be small with less than 10 employees. 487 downtown enterprises currently fall within this size category.

According to Franklin Kimbrough, Executive Director of the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, “the business and job growth in Downtown Pensacola highlights the area as one of the fastest growing commercial districts in the region” . “Businesses locating in Downtown Pensacola have a much better chance of succeeding and thriving for many years as evidenced by the 22 year average length of presence for all downtown businesses”, said Kimbrough.

The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) exists to continue the removal of commercial blight, encourage economic development, attract commercial and residential development into the urban core, and beautify downtown Pensacola. For more information about the programs, initiatives, or activities of the DIB, visit

Alexandra Colley
Program Manager
Downtown Improvement Board
41. North Jefferson Street- Suite 401
Pensacola, Fl 32502
P: 850.434.5371
F: 850.434.7275

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