TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A number of new businesses are opening up in Tuscaloosa, including hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. City leaders are excited about the potential economic boost these new businesses will bring to the Druid City.
Jim Page, the Director of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, weighs in on the potential impact that the new businesses will bring.
“We are always excited when we have new businesses opening whether its local business or chains or relocations from other communities. But to have as much as we’ve had coming out of the pandemic, I think is pretty promising” Page said.
PJ’S Coffee of New Orleans is one of many new businesses that have opened shop on the strip near the University of Alabama campus. Owner Bill Getchell says it is a perfect fit for students who can come and study while they have coffee, frozen drinks, food and frozen custard.
“The whole premise of this was to gear a place to where students can come and sit and study during the day and evening and enjoy some coffee, and maybe they want to get a frozen treat, we know how hot it is in summer” Getchell said.
Some other new businesses include Jersey Mike’s Subs and the new Homewood Suites.
Jim Page says many of the new establishments took a gamble to open up shop during the pandemic, but the gamble is paying off.
“To have all these new names in our community is great for us. It creates more opportunity for people to get out and enjoy themselves when they are in this market. And it’s great for tax base because it’s going to create more tax revenue whether its sales tax or lodging tax,” said Page.
Page is hopeful more new businesses will open to help replace the ones that closed and went out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.