St. Pete’s Save Our Storefronts Initiative

smith and associates

As you walk down Central Avenue, it’s impossible not to notice all of the small businesses that line the street. This is in part because of the efforts made two years ago by the mayor, The City of St. Petersburg’s engaged residents, tenants, building and property owners, and organizations such as the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce, the Central Avenue Council, Keep Saint Petersburg Local, and LocalShops1.com.

They proposed taking steps to protect our small and independent businesses on St. Pete’s popular and beloved Central Avenue. A community conversation then began.

Storefront Conservation Plan close to passing

After two years of public engagement and compromise, the Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan is close to passing, which would promote independent businesses, encourage a pedestrian-friendly street, and conserve the historic parts of downtown St. Pete.

But nothing is so easy. Developers and unknown interests have asked council members for more time in order to propose changes or present a new plan.

The St. Petersburg City Council is now looking at breaking the Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan into two pieces, which would make the development incentives and the zoning changes be two separate pieces of legislation and less effective in protecting our small businesses.

Make your voice heard at City Council 

City council meetings are open to the public and if you believe in the importance of protecting small businesses in St. Pete, you’re in luck. There is a St. Pete City Council meeting on Thursday, March 14 at 3pm.

If you want to make your voice heard, you can speak at the open forum or to the item on the agenda. If you can’t make it to the meeting, but you still want to engage with city council, you can email the council members at city.council@stpete.org

Written by Kacy Vance

Kacy Vance

Kacy is a freelance writer for I Love the Burg. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a degree in Mass Communications and Criminology. Her thesis on Deaf and Disability representation in the media was published as part of the DePauw University Ethics Symposium in 2018.