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Apopka's biggest headlines of 2021

Part Four: City Council debates economic development, and the role of dollar stores


It was an eventful year, and The Apopka Voice was there every step of the way to provide you with the news and analysis you needed on the important issues facing Apopka residents.

This week, we will review the news year that was 2021. Some of the stories were one-day events, while many others were ongoing throughout the year. But instead of simply re-publishing the story, we'll go a little deeper and provide all of the articles related to that issue so that you better understand the impact they had on Apopka, and how they will evolve heading into 2022.

The fourth part of the series features articles written about the debate over economic development, and the spread of dollar stores in the Apopka area.

We hope you enjoy the look back.

City Council debates the role of dollar stores in Apopka

Small-box discount retailers, or dollar stores as they are commonly called, is a subject Apopkans seem to hate, the market seems to love, and customers seem to patronize. There are currently 12 dollar stores in Apopka, and 16-20 in the immediate area, and no clear end to expansion in sight until the Apopka City Council tapped the brakes on the industry in 2021.

Capitalism, dollar stores, and the role of the Apopka City Council

Originally published May 24th

City Council votes to pursue a six-month moratorium on 'dollar stores'

Originally published July 23rd.

City Council takes another step to limit Dollar Stores in Apopka

Originally published December 1st.

Becker and Nelson debate the role of economic development 

It started as an annual request from a city commissioner during the budgeting process. It moved forward in the form of debates about dollar stores and fast-food restaurants. And now, it seems to weave its way into every discussion about the future of Apopka.

Should the City have an economic development department? Can it be managed with the talent already on staff? Can a mayor put that hat on and act as economic development director all on his own? What role should a chamber of commerce play? Should a municipality step aside and let capitalism be the leading edge of economic development?

The Apopka Voice covered this core issue from every angle in 2021. Here are a few of the articles published:

Becker, Nelson clash in economic development debate

Originally published July 22nd.

The Apopka Voice Survey: How do other cities approach economic development?

Originally published August 23rd.

Apopka City Council, Economic Development, Mayor Bryan Nelson, Commissioner Kyle Becker, Dollar Stores