Published: Nov 14, 2012 12:05 AM EST
Updated: Nov 14, 2012 12:14 AM EST

When the recession hit southwest Florida five years ago, Cape Coral was one of the hardest hit areas. Many small businesses closed their doors, foreclosure rates went through the roof and home values dropped dramatically.

"People were worried about their houses and they spent less money on going out. You had a loss of jobs and businesses," said Cape Coral Community Development director Dana Brunett. 

But now the Cape Coral community leaders are trying to show everyone that the economy in the Cape is looking strong.

Today dozens of small businesses and Realtors met to show the community how strong their businesses are and how good the realty market is looking.

Realtors say water front properties is what is selling like crazy right now. Rates on properties are still low, so more people can afford to buy.

Others are actually starting their own new businesses in Cape Coral. Wade Helm and his partners started On Track Doors Inc., a businesses devoted to all things garage doors.

"If you want to just live paycheck to paycheck you can do that or you can plan for your future," said Helm.

The South Florida Canoe Kayak Club is wanting to build a multi-million dollar water sports training facility in Cape Coral. It would offer a place for Olympic athletes to stay and train for months at a time.

"The waterways here are perfect for them, we have 400 plus miles of canals," said South Florida Canoe Kayak Club president Melinda Mack.

The group will present the idea to the Cape council soon.