PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula business owners say their city is a "diamond in the rough," and a town "full of potential." Now city officials are trying to make the most of that potential, and they've hired a retail consultant to help them.
Michael Majurd took a chance seven months ago when he opened his Pascagoula restaurant, Petit Bois. He wishes other business owners would follow suit and invest in his hometown.
"There's a lot of opportunity here," said Majurd. "Diamond in the rough here, and we're not polishing it up."
City and Main Street officials want other business owners to discover Pascagoula. The City recently hired a consulting firm, Arnett Muldrow and Associates, to help bring those business owners to the city.
"They're going to come in and meet with city officials as well as business owners, community organizations, property owners, developers," explained Community Development Director Harry Schmidt. "Trying to put together a whole big picture of what our needs are and how we can meet our needs here in the city."
Arnett Muldrow and Associates are responsible for several logos the city has started using to brand itself to residents and investors. They include the "We Are Pascagoula" campaign, as well as Downtown for the Holidays, The City of Pascagoula and Pascagoula Main Street logos. Now the firm will work to identify Pascagoula's retail needs and produce a plan to get those businesses into the city.
"I don't know that a retail marketing study has ever been done," said Rebecca Davis, Pascagoula Main Street Director. "And if it has, it's been many, many years ago. I believe this is going to brighten the path for us, in what we do need, maybe what we don't need. And give us some more or better options."
"It's important for the city to grow its retail base, to grow its sales tax, city revenue, as well as make the city a better place to live," said Schmidt.
Majurd hopes the community will take notice of the effort and support the businesses who choose to call Pascagoula home.
"It's just our locals that should, I guess, just ban together and take care of our community," Majurd said.