Pascagoula residents asked to save small businesses

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A group of Pascagoula business owners want to remind people about the importance of where they spend their dollars.

The owners came together to create signs that read "Save Pascagoula Small Businesses, Shop Local." The signs are to give Pascagoula residents something to think about.

Michael Boone lives in Pascagoula and said he does about 65 percent of his shopping in the city. He said if the city had a wider selection, he would gladly spend more of his money in Pascagoula.

"If there are no small businesses, then all the bigger competitors they can pretty much do what they want to do," Boone said.

Felix Fornett owns a barbershop on Old Mobile Highway. There is a "Save Pascagoula Small Businesses" sign out front.

"A lot of people, they don't realize that you have to spend money locally in order to keep businesses going here," said Fornett. "In order for people to keep the door open, small businesses you have to spend money in your town."

Fornett is among the small business owner who are concerned so many of Pascagoula's spending power is going to Ocean Springs and Harrison County. Fornett said encouragement to shop locally isn't enough. Pascagoula needs to offer more selection for shopping and recreation.

"Just having more of a nightlife. Some people like a nightlife. We need more restaurants," said Fornett. "I think we have a good police force. We don't really have a high crime rate. Just to build things in this area, we need hotels and that type of stuff."

Fornett said he has seen some quality projects coming off the ground and is hearing about more in the works. For small business owners, not only is the goal is to get more people to do business in Pascagoula but also make Pascagoula their home. Fornett believes having a great school district is a plus.

"Pascagoula is trying to attract businesses to come here. We want people who work here to live here, also," Fornett said. "Because if you think about it, a lot of the jobs that we offer here, most people don't live in Pascagoula, they live west. So we're just trying to attract people to make the stay right here."

Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell said he likes to see any encouragement to get people to shop at home because the city needs to collect all the tax revenue it can.

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