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One year later: How one Florence business is doing after receiving the “Florence First” grant

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Florence introduced the Florence First grant one year ago today for businesses in need of some help.

Small businesses are the hub of the city of Florence.

“That’s one of the great things about business here is that you’ve got a city that understands the cultural elements and what we add to life in the Shoals,” said General Manager of the Shoals Theatre, Steve Price.

The Florence First grant was designed to help those businesses and keep the city alive. The initiative helped small businesses with fixed costs that still come whether the business is still open.

Price said the grant was a Godsend.

“We were hurting. We really were. We really had no idea and didn’t realize at the time how dependent we were on ticket sales. It’s money we used on mortgage payments, on utilities and payroll as well,” said Price.

It’s been one year since the theatre applied for the grant and nearly a year since it received the money.

Price said business is turning around.

“We’re doing pretty well. I mean, we’re still hurting, but we’re going to get there. We’ve survived with the help of so many people like I just mentioned but we’re in decent shape, but we’re looking so forward to butts in the seats as Mr. Rosinbomb used to say and shows, the smell of popcorn when you walk in the theatre, we’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be great,” said Price.

More people will file into the theatre this week during The Sound of Music musical being put on by Central High School.

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