Pascagoula gets national attention for fast growing economy

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula is getting some national attention. The city has been ranked third in the country for its fast growing economy by the Conference of Mayors and IHS Global Insight. According to the report, the area's economy grew by 6.2 percent last year.

"We are excited and delighted to hear we have been ranked nationally as one of the fast growing economies," Mayor Jim Blevins said.

Blevins and his team said as you look around Pascagoula; it is understandable why the city is considered an economic leader. There's Ingalls Shipbuilding, which is Mississippi's largest private employer, and The Chevron Pascagoula Refinery which pours millions in to the local economy yearly and helps create thousands of good paying jobs.

"In fact, we have jobs that are not filled yet in Pascagoula, so it is still a growing economy here and big business helps us very much."

The small businesses in Pascagoula also play a major role in the growing economy such as the mom and pop stores that continue to setup shop. Right now, there are more than 1,000 small businesses in the city.

"Anchor Square has 15 small businesses, two restaurants and other venues. It has been a great launch pad for our recent development and revitalization of downtown," Economic Director Jen Dearman said.

David Hinkel with Alan Hinkel Photography was at Anchor Square, but out grew the cottage. Now, he and Bridget Blue owner Robynn Rankin hope partnered notoriety will put help their businesses on the map.

"I enjoy the business, and I would like to have more customers," Hinkel said.

"I am looking to expand and grow," Rankin said.

Blevins said the goal is to continue growing Pascagoula in the right direction.

"We have projects. We have the right folks supportive of what we are doing in town. We have large industry continuing to hire, so we think the trend will continue," Blevins said.

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