Kiln business council to lure new business

KILN, MS (WLOX) - The Kiln Business Council has unveiled its plans to bring more traffic to the area. Council leaders say the Hancock County community has lost 8 to 10 businesses so far this year, but has gained a few too. WLOX News has a look at the plans in the works to bring more people and their money to the Kiln.

Kiln Bill's steak and Cajun seafood restaurant is one of newest businesses to open its doors on Highway 603 in the Kiln.

Its owner hopes to cash in on the post Katrina population explosion in the community.

"I've been gone from the area since Katrina, I actually lived in Southern California for several years, moved back and there's two to three times the number of people, new faces all day everyday. There are a lot of people from the Slidell, New Orleans area that have moved over here," said restaurant owner Christian Runnels.

Kiln Bill's opened just a month ago. A new Family Dollar Store opened up the road around two months ago.

But the Kiln Business Council says the new businesses are not out-numbering the 8 to 10 that have closed this year.

"You can't shop in the Kiln if your not here. So we want to think of everything we can to get them here and make them want to come here," said Judith Redshaw.

Redshaw is chairman of the Kiln Business Council. She says the organization is working to create a Kiln Master Plan to identify available property for potential developers.

The Council is also about to embark on a major beautification and signage project to highlight the shopping, dining and recreational opportunities available in the Kiln.

Redshaw said, "We're going to promote the businesses by telling what businesses we have in the Kiln . We feel we have a lot of strong assets. We have the Jourdan River we have Bayou Tella. We have McLeod Park where they have kayaking and canoeing."

The group also plans to encourage festivals and special events to bring folks to the Kiln.

"We're planning a farmer and art market," explained Redshaw.

She says the goal is simple.

"To stop the bleeding we have businesses hanging in here and they're doing very well, but so many times they're struggling and we've seen people close their doors. It's sad for me because it just breaks my heart, but we're going to do everything we can to draw new businesses to show that you can make a profit in the Kiln area."

Social media will also become a big part of promoting the Kiln. Redshaw says the Business Council is about to launch a Facebook Page.

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