CAPE CORAL, Fla - A business boom in Cape Coral.
A city program is exploding and it's bringing more businesses to the Cape.
Of course this means more tax revenue and more importantly jobs.
"It was just overwhelming," said Larry Stringer.
Stringer says opening a business isn't easy.
He's is in the process of opening Steamers Sports Shack in downtown Cape Coral.
Getting the seafood restaurant off the ground, at first seemed impossible.
"We couldn't get the whole package together. There's a whole lot of steps you have to go through to open a business," Stringer told WINK News.
To help people like Stringer out, the City of Cape Coral created the "Customer Advocacy Program".
It helps people like Larry open their doors.
"It just made things flow smooth. We got all our answers we wanted to know about," Stringer said.
Paul Dickson, is Chief Building Official in Cape Coral, he says, "anyone that has the resources or desire to open a business we have to be there to help them."
Dickson told WINK News the Customer Advocacy Program streamlines the permitting process and guides business owners on what codes and building requirements they need.
It helps to eliminate all the red tape.
"We really realized the city needed to work as a partner with these businesses," Dickson said.
The new program is a huge success.
"There's a lot of new business applications. There's a lot of business remodels. We're up around thirty percent over this time last year," Dickson told WINK News.
Of course this means more jobs.
Billy Fuccillo used the program to help open his Kia dealership in Cape Coral.
He's hiring more than a 100 local people.
Fuccillo says the advocacy program was instrumental in getting him to the Cape.
"It was an easy transition. They walked us through everything," Fuccillo said.
Since there's been so much interest, the program is expanding and more city staff will be added in the coming months.
To learn more about the Customer Advocacy Program, contact the city's Department of Community Development.