Officials say business is booming in Hannibal after several new shops have opened up in recent weeks.
You’ll be hard pressed to find an empty storefront in downtown Hannibal these days.
Due Amici Pizzeria opened up just last week while down the street Annie Rose Boutique opened two weeks ago Wednesday.
“I love our main street and I love our downtown area. I thought it would be nice to be involved in that and have another little shop down here,” said boutique owner Dawn Long.
Hannibal Chamber of Commerce officials said the spike in businesses opening stems from a combination of factors.
“We’ve just seen a lot of success and we’re building on the success. Not only the renovations in the downtown area in the last few years with the sidewalks and painting the buildings but the promise of that riverfront development is also driving a lot of growth,” said McKenzie Disselhorst with the chamber.
Chamber officials said they are looking into ways to continue that growth and fill other vacant buildings. They support small businesses with educational and training programs.
“Support them not only when they’re opening but long after they have opened as well. That’s not what anyone wants to see is a big kickoff for a new business and then everyone kinda forgetting about it and not supporting it so it’s not sustainable,” said Disselhorst.
And those new business owners said they hope to capitalize on the growth of downtown as well.
“What a better place than Hannibal, downtown Hannibal,” said pizzeria owner Brian Chaplin. “There are a lot of tourists and things are growing. It’s just a great town and I want to be apart of this.”
Officials said there is not a broad incentive program for all of these small businesses but the chamber says through its programs it tries to build an inclusive culture for its small business community.