Recent small-business closures have some in High Springs concerned, but city officials said they’re focusing on the bigger picture rather than one business closing its doors here and there.
One such business is La Tasca restaurant, which is set to close by the end of April.
“It’s a good clientele,” waiter Luigi Benitez said, “but we need more to sustain a business. They are a good base, but we are in need of more people to come to make it successful.”
Though the restaurant is closing, the owners are looking into trying a bigger city to reopen in.
The closure highlights a problem noted on the Facebook group High Springs Florida News, with the original poster listing a couple of business closures and another saying that High Springs “is a place where small-business loans go to die.”
However, city officials said they aren’t reading too much into it.
“A lot of times it’s just the wrong location,” said Amanda Rodriguez, director of the High Springs Community Redevelopment Agency. “They’re not prepared. It’s just a service that is not necessary to High Springs.”
There are plans to expand business and bring more people into the city, City Manager Ed Booth said, including plans for hotels and motels and not just in the city’s historic downtown district.
“There are well over 100,000 people coming through town to come to the springs, and so we’re starting to take advantage of all that,” he said.
High Springs is finding popularity with visitors and is seeing residential growth, too, Booth said.
“We’ve looked to put in about 100 homes this year and would like to continue that growth,” he said. “We don’t want to really ramp up and then come down. We would like a steady growth.”