NewsPinellas County


Small businesses, artists are the heart of Gulfport

Gulfport Casino
Posted at 4:47 AM, Apr 02, 2021

GULFPORT, Fla. — A simple walkthrough of Gulfport and it'll become evident.

"Our slogan right now is to rediscover Gulfport. And we're Gulfport strong, and we're staying safe. And we're a city where you can come and feel safe about coming out during the pandemic and come visit us," explains Barbara Banno, president of the Gulfport Merchants Association.

Walk up and down Beach Drive, you'll see that Gulfport thrives off local businesses and artists.

"This town is all about their small businesses. And so when that was taken away from us, it really, really was a whole different level of impact to our community and to the businesses here. And so once we started bringing those back in September, it just gave everybody a little bit more hope that you know, we were going to make it through this time," explains Banno.

From the Tuesday Fresh Markets to the Friday Art Walks, Gulfport is finding a way to bring business back.

"Artists from all over Tampa Bay are going to be coming to Gulfport and painting iconic things throughout Gulfport, and then they're going to sell their paintings at the Art Walk. So we're really excited about that event," says Banno.

During our visit, everyone stopped to say hi and welcomed us, wanting to share their story of why they call Gulfport home.

"I mean, we're an old town, old Florida town, you know, and people love that vibe. And so you know, whether you're visiting or you're local and you're sitting out at a restaurant outside at one of the tables, even though it's six feet apart, chances are you're going to like strum up some conversation and you're gonna learn about the city or learn where somebody is from. And it happens all the time," says Banno.

You can find out more about visiting Gulfport, by clicking here.