CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A new push to boost Cape Coral's economy. We're hearing from the man who is determined to make that happen. Dana Brunett is the city's new Economic Development Director.
Just two weeks on the job, and Dana Brunett has big plans for Cape Coral. He moved here from New York and is adjusting to his new role. "I didn't come in to make changes for the sake of making changes. I want to make the right changes," he said.
One of his main priorities is focusing on the businesses already here, keeping them healthy and thriving. He believes this is the key to job creation.
"If you don't take care of what you got, bringing in the new doesn't help you," he said.
That idea sits well with Ralph Sangiovanni, owner of Razzle Dazzle. He's been at this spot for 22 years and hopes to hire back more people as the economy improves.
"At one point we had 10 employees, we had two locations down here, with economic turns we're down to almost a 'mom and pop' type operation," he said.
Brunett says about two-thirds of Cape Coral's population commutes over the bridge. He says one of his long term goals is to offset that and keep more businesses and people here in the Cape.
"In my mind, if people are going across the bridge for a job, they're taking money with them," Brunett said.
Anita Simmons, owner of Cape Dog Bakery, agrees with this idea.
"I believe in the city and I like providing for people things in their own backyard, so they don't have to go across the bridge," she said.
Brunett says he knows his ideas won't happen all at once, but he's taking one day at a time.