St. Cloud is seeing an increase in mobile or home businesses

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Gone are the classic brick-and-mortar stores. The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce reports that many new small businesses are mobile, self-incorporated and often operate from home.

What You Need to Know According to city leaders, about 35 to 40 percent of new businesses that call St. Cloud home work from home

The nationwide census reports that 2021 saw the highest number of new business applications

Meanwhile, others have tried to become franchisees, such as Jorge Figueroa, who runs a cell phone refurbishment company

After the pandemic, people like Jorge Figueroa were looking for franchising opportunities. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be in business for themselves, but not for themselves.

Figueroa can renovate just about anything. He can fix holes in your old couch, clean your car seats, and even help give airplane interiors a makeover. But even if he mainly works with his hands, he loves to use his knowledge of human nature on the job.

“Anything to do with people. It’s a huge satisfaction for me,” said Jorge Figueroa, who runs a Fibrenew franchise in Osceola County.

Before embracing this new venture, there were a few faces that he missed dearly. He spent decades in the military and later worked abroad as a US contractor. When the world shut down because of the pandemic, it also prevented him from seeing his family.

It was a wake up call.

“It’s something I can do to keep myself here and at home and I will keep the promise I made to my family,” he said.

A survey by Franchise Business Review shows that franchisees have more job satisfaction today than they did before the pandemic.

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“I just go out every day. Looking for opportunities, looking for deals. That’s all I have,” Figueroa said.

Others have started their own businesses, with a census report showing that 2021 saw the highest number of new business applications.

The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce says they’re seeing a big wave of self-starters.

“According to my friends at City Hall, 35 to 40 percent of businesses in St. Cloud operate from home,” said Dirk Webb.

Figueroa’s business is mobile and he travels to every job he gets. He says these numbers don’t surprise him.

“The way things are happening in today’s society, people want to explore different things. Work for yourself instead of working for someone else.”