New businesses set up shop on Jeff Davis Avenue

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The street at the heart of Long Beach is slowly starting to come back. Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of what was on Jeff Davis Avenue. Since May, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce said about half a dozen businesses have opened on or right off of Jeff Davis.

Melissa Fischer said she couldn't think of a sweeter spot to open her bakery.

"Long Beach is such a quaint area. We like the street presence that we have here," said Fischer. "I'm home grown. I'm from here in Long Beach, and it just seemed like the place to be."

Owners of a yogurt shop, an art gallery, and clothing shop are some of the businesses wanting to be on Jeff Davis. The mayor said the hard work that went into rebuilding the street after Hurricane Katrina is slowly starting to pay off.

"It's been a long process that's starting to come together here for us," Mayor Billy Skellie said. "We have one of the most beautiful streets, main streets on the Gulf Coast. It's very inviting. It shows a lot of promise and people are starting to look at development here."

"Businesses go to the people," Mayor Skellie said. "I think that's starting to show that the people are Downtown and in our general business district. We do well across the CSX railroad. We have great businesses there."

Alexis Bowman's boutique just opened across the tracks at the end of Jeff Davis. She lives in Gulfport, but decided to set up shop in Long Beach.

"The people of Long Beach, they support small business. They believe in keeping their money here," said Bowman. "There's a lot of restaurants and different things to keep people coming to the Downtown area, so there's definitely room for growth. I think it's a great place to start a business. "

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