PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — New businesses continue to flock to Bay County, despite recent challenges.

Supply chain issues and COVID-19 have caused setbacks in the process of opening a storefront, according to some local business owners.

Kurt Fadden, an Island Fin Poke Company franchise owner, said the opening process of his storefront has been delayed over four months.

He said they’ve had trouble finding stainless steel restaurant equipment, and Fadden attributes it to supply chain issues.

“But we knew when we started it that there would be some delays and some things we couldn’t control,” Fadden said. “All in all, I think it’s gone pretty well, and I think it’s gonna continue to go pretty seamlessly until we open.”

Other businesses have also mentioned other setbacks slowing down the process.

“It was really just permitting and construction delays, COVID-19,” Chase Bush, owner of ice cream shop Sweet Cone Alabama, said. “It was just one little thing after another with construction and stuff like that.”

Fadden said a lot of the issues were out of his control, and things are starting to look up.

“At this point, we’re definitely back on track,” he said. “We have our permits in order, our equipment is ordered and confirmed, and outside of just having to pay a little bit more for certain things and being patient, we’re back on track.”

Island Fin Poke Company is set to open up in mid to late March in Pier Park North beside The Fresh Market.

“We’re very, very excited to open… On top of opening a business, we wanted to open something that we knew people in our community would love and the area was lacking,” Fadden said. “I think that’s what we’re most excited about is so many people that we’ve talked to are just so excited that it’s opening.”

Sweet Cone Alabama opened in Panama City Beach on Thomas Drive at the beginning of winter, and Bush said business has been steady.

“The process has been pretty smooth… Outside of the construction we had some delays with, the store looks great,” Bush said. “The reception from the community has been really awesome.”

Although Island Fin Poke Company is not hiring just yet, Sweet Cone Alabama is currently looking for more employees. Bush said pay starts at $11 an hour, and hours are flexible.

Learn more about Island Fin Poke Company and Sweet Cone Alabama.