MEXICO BEACH, FL- Triblive.com writes that Mexico Beach, Florida, the tiny Gulf Coast town, was devastated by Hurricane Michael. The owners of small businesses lost their shops and restaurants and are struggling to determine how they will be able to recover the losses they suffered in the massive storm.
Dena Frost, the owner of a pottery shop near the highway, lost both her mobile home and her shop. The mayor lost his hardware store, and the town’s only grocery store was obliterated. Frost is now worrying about what will happen when the little town is finally rebuilt. The businesses in Mexico Beach are small, locally owned operations. The residents live either in houses or mobile homes. The high-rise condos seen in neighboring areas like Panama City are not permitted because of local ordinances. The town has thus far remained free of commercial chain businesses.
Now locals worry that many of the older residents who owned businesses will not want to put in the work of rebuilding. Some owners may opt to sell their businesses, and new business owners may choose to rebuild things on a larger scale.
Already, homeowners are talking about selling their properties rather than rebuilding them. Some of the residents may not have the necessary resources to rebuild following the destruction. Many of the residents have also lost their jobs. The Driftwood Inn, which employed about 12 people, was horribly damaged on the side that faces the beach. The owner says that he has lost thousands in money he must refund to people who planned to stay at the hotel and that he will likely take two years to rebuild.
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