Struggling businesses hope to benefit from industrial trade show

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi businesses crippled by the poor economy were out marketing themselves at one the largest networking events in Jackson County. The Industrial Trade Show features the latest products and services from vendors all over the coast.

Sassy's Restaurant, Bakery & Catering owner Tracey Cochran was at the trade show pushing her company's name and delicious delights to anyone who would listen.

"We have anything from steaks, seafood, burgers, and salads, and a fantastic bakery," Cochran said about her Hurley restaurant.

Cochran believes it's important to do all she can to land as much business as possible, because the economy just doesn't look promising these days.

"Trying to maintain the staff we have and keep the business going afloat, so we can offer something to the community. It has been tough."

That's a feeling shared by many of the 90 other suppliers who signed up for the show. Everyone wants to showcase what they have to offer.

Chuck Ward is one of the business owners who definitely needs to build his cliental. He said sales at his paint store have slipped by 40 percent in the last year.

"You went from a post-Katrina where it was really, really busy, to a really, really slow. But it is starting to pick up some," Ward said.

Ward and many other struggling business owners say they are optimistic the trade show will have a profitable return.

"The upturn will help us by putting more people to work, and the increasing business will help everybody," Ward said.

This is the 20th year for the trade show and organizers say Tuesday's event was sold out. If you missed the show, you can catch it Wednesday at the Pascagoula Civic Center from 10am to 4pm.

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