Business leaders weigh in on the confederate controversy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Business leaders weigh in on the confederate controversy

Business leaders are talking about the confederate flag controversy. (Photo source: WLOX News) Business leaders are talking about the confederate flag controversy. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The push to remove confederate symbols comes after a tragic shooting in a South Carolina church last week. The opinions vary some saying it's time to change and some saying it should stay as is.

And business leaders are just as divided.

"I know by having conversations with people from here. I know that this is a very sensitive subject. So I don't think that the rebranding is going to effect, it's going to help make Mississippi more welcoming,” owner of Mosaics Restaurant and Bar in downtown Gulfport Arturo Barajas said.

Barajas said he believes changing the state flag will only help bring in future businesses.

Others in the hospitality industry said Mississippi's state flag isn't stopping them from doing business in the Magnolia state

"I don't think we've seen that sort of an impact. We're certainly not getting that type of question from groups that are coming from out of state that are asking that type of question. So I would say that really isn't an issue that is affecting us in the hotel industry,” said Blaine Anderson with Shulte Hospitality Group, Inc.

Anderson is the Vice President of Shulte Hospitality Group, Incorporated and said a state carrying the confederate symbol hasn't been a factor in his company's decision to purchase a hotel.

Tourists like Jim Hightower of Louisiana agree. He said when considering a place to stay what it comes down to is how he's treated.

"It's all about the people there. It's all about hospitality. And you know if you feel welcomed someplace that's what's important. It's unfortunate that people do see that symbol as a divisive and you know with the way we all grew up, I can see that,” said Hightower.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce weighed in on the flag debate saying they support elected officials who call for a change in the flag.

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