While you're out shopping for holiday gifts, if you do still go out shopping, keep in mind all the small businesses in Volusia County that provide the heartbeat for the area.

Apparently you trust them more than big businesses. Gallup did a survey this summer where it asked how much confidence people had in major U.S. institutions, and small businesses ranked No. 1, according to Bill Herrle, Florida executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

“Seventy percent of those surveyed told Gallup they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of faith in America's small businesses, edging out the U.S. military by 1 percentage point,” Mr. Herrle noted. “In case you’re wondering, big business was near the bottom of the list with only 18%. The only institutions with lower scores were TV news and Congress.”

The vote of confidence was needed with small businesses dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing with labor and supply chain issues.

“Despite the challenges, small businesses have managed to keep the lights on and continue providing the goods and services their communities need, which is good, because we need our small businesses,” Mr. Herrle stated. “According to the federal government, small businesses account for 99.8% of all businesses in the Sunshine State, and, together, they employ over 40% of Florida’s labor force.”

As I've mentioned before, small businesses are the lifeblood of Hometown News. Without them, it's safe to say this newspaper wouldn't exist.

So with Small Business Saturday coming up Nov. 27, stop on in and check out the deals they're offering. You can consider it a top community service.

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An addendum to last week's article about the sale of Racing's North Turn in Ponce Inlet. While we don't know the full purchase price, the property itself sold for $5 million. The buyers also paid $1.2 million for a house across the street and $300,000 for a vacant lot behind it on Maura Terrace.

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Commercial real estate remains hot in Volusia. Some recent deals include Bloomfield, Mich., investors buying the new Wawa property at 1900 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach for $10.8 million. D.R. Horton bought lots 1-60 of the Ormond Grande development on North U.S. 1 for $2.7 million. Michigan-based Stoneage Investments LLC bought the South State Bank property at 763 Third Ave. in New Smyrna Beach for $2.2 million.

Greenville, S.C., real estate services firm Armada Analytics acquired the industrial building at Business Center Drive and U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach for $1.98 million. A Daytona Beach couple, under the name Thoroughbred Classics LLC, continue buying property in Daytona Beach, paying Daniel and Michael Panaggio $1.4 million for industrial property on Mason Avenue.

The Vanacore brothers of Ormond Beach bought the 29-acre Reserve at Strickland project, which is permitted for 172 townhouses and a medical office complex at southeast section of Clyde Morris Boulevard and Strickland Range Road in Daytona Beach, for $1.125 million.

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Some other interesting developments include site work starting on Meritage Homes single-family project at 998 Champions Drive, next to LPGA International clubhouse. Renovations are starting for Crunch Fitness to go into the old Daytona Mall on North Nova Road in Daytona Beach. BurgerTen, which started as a ghost kitchen pop-up concept at Dahlia's Mexican Kitchen, focused on handcrafted smash burgers and fries, will be get its own place in Suite 400 of OneDaytona. The apartments at 450 Jimmy Ann Drive in Daytona Beach, now called Pointe Grand Daytona, will get a new clubhouse.

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On a final note, passenger traffic at Daytona Beach International Airport has improved drastically from the pandemic levels, but still have long way to go to get where we might see increased service. Passenger traffic was at 45,079 at DBIA in October compared to 27,397 in October 2020.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 24 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsol.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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