JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New data from Yelp shows a staggering 60% of small businesses that closed during the pandemic have shut their doors for good. It’s a steep economic toll, but Historic Springfield in Jacksonville is beating the pandemic one new business at a time.
The neighborhood’s history is bold and so is its resilience. Established in 1869, the already thriving community is now adding another business in the middle of uncertain economic times.
Springfield Scoops is the newest business on the bustling block in historic Springfield.
The product may be cold, but this area is seeing a hot streak.
“Our business community has thrived. They’ve done really well. Something I’m really proud of. We haven’t lost a single business in historic Springfield due to COVID,” said Kelly Rich, executive director of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization nonprofit organization.
The new ice cream shop has been open for nearly three weeks and has brought 150 flavors of freshly made ice cream to the historic neighborhood.
While the scoops are delicious, Springfield Scoops Owner Danielle McQueen said representation is even sweeter.
“Being a Black-owned business is really setting an example. No matter where you come from, I grew up in what you would call a challenged neighborhood. I grew up in the area of Brandon Park, so it’s been known to have a lot of crime. I didn’t see that side of it when I was growing up," McQueen said. "To me it was just home. So just setting that example where you can have young Black girls or young Black boys (know) you can make it regardless of your background.”
The SPAR Council said the three newest businesses to open up in this area are all Black-owned.
The community prides itself on its diverse representation of business owners.
In addition to this new business, Historic Springfield will start looking into adding more neighborhood amenities, as well as the Springfield lofts, which will include 78 multi-family units.