TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — For businesses in downtown Tallahassee, it has been a game-changing session, as pandemic restrictions were relaxed, and more people were eager to get out.
"Business went up tremendously it was a really nice increase."
Natasha Bills is the General Manager at Chuck's Fish in Tallahassee. They opened back in August of 2020; the height of the pandemic. The 2021 Florida Legislative Session wasn't much to write home about.
"The first session was still kind of pandemic-ish, so it wasn't like full-time crazy, crazy, but this year was legit session."
Even though she says inflation has driven up some of their costs, this year's session rebound helped, bringing a 40 percent increase in business over the last year.
A few blocks away at La Florida, it's a similar story. Miguel Vassallo is part-owner and says,
"It helped increase business so it's been pretty good business this year."
Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced in January, the state's employment and labor force participation is greater than pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment is also down to 3.5 percent, which is below the national rate of 4.0 percent.
A promising outlook that keeps local business owners like Miguel going, with the help of the community.
"We really rely on the community here in Tallahassee to continue providing us with business."
In January, Florida has also seen an increase in private sector jobs. Professional and businesses services are at the top with over 9,000 new jobs. Leisure and hospitality are third with over 4,000 new jobs.