In the fall of 2016, the Apalachee RPC, using its Revolving Loan Fund program, invested in the expansion of Pretty Girlz, a small women’s clothing boutique in Blountstown, Florida located in Calhoun County. Loan proceeds allowed the owner to purchase and renovate a long-time vacant downtown building and more than double its capacity for inventory as well as the creation of four new full-time jobs.
Despite the high-risk nature of retail businesses in rural communities, Pretty Girlz is thriving in its new location and since the expansion gross sales have tripled. Through the use of a creative social media marketing campaign, the owner continues to draw clientele from over a 50-mile radius and has been a torch-bearer for the downtown improvement initiatives of the Blountstown Main Street program. Bay County’s prestigious Holly Fair held annually in November, has announced that it will be featuring Pretty Girlz of Blountstown as its top new business at the 2017 show.