Businesses across the country were forced to shut down due to the pandemic, leaving several buildings in different communities sitting vacant for months.
The Jennings building in the heart of downtown Brooksville has sat empty since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It use to be home to a law office, a hardware store and most recently Lugo’s, a Hispanic restaurant.
An Idaho-based organization will soon bring their innovative ideas to Hernando County and help fill empty spaces, also giving small businesses an opportunity to shine.
“We are a company that helps communities across America rebuild their economies,” said Nick Smooth, the President and CEO of Innovation Collective.
Since starting Innovation Collective in 2013, Smooth and his team have helped business leaders thrive in over 100 communities.
“I wanted to start Innovation Collective simply because I had noticed a trend where cities had plans on how to fix economies, but it didn’t focus on engaging the community members in something that they found joy in,” Smooth said.
With help from local businesses and partners on the ground like community lead Sam Eshelman, the company scopes out empty buildings in small downtown areas and renovates them.