OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Matt Stebly is hard at work putting last minutes touches on his new tattoo parlor and art gallery.
There are two reasons Stebly says chose downtown Ocean Springs, including family ties to the city.
"The walking and the accessibility to all the businesses. It's one of the biggest reasons I wanted to come down here business wise," Stebly explained.
Off The Hook Fish House is now serving up meals. Owner Tom Wold followed his dream, and says the decision to come to the area was an easy one.
"The local community here is probably some of the best people on the entire Coast," Wold said. "If I was going to go into another adventure after retiring 28 years, what better place to have than right here in downtown Ocean Springs."
Soon, a clothing boutique and an shop specializing in all things Irish will open. Entrepreneurs say they're big fans of the city, a reflection of the friendly business climate.
Even established businesses like Buzzy's Breakfast Joint know the value of being in the quaint city.
"We have that small town charm that attracts tourists and even the local people. There are so many unique things downtown and so more businesses open and it keeps bringing people down here," employee Tana Rountree said.
Hale Dees is a financial advisor for a local bank, which play a major role in the success of the thriving downtown.
"If you want to be part of a growing economy, investing in that economy is what we do. So that's why we're here in Ocean Springs," said Dees.
As in any retail setting, businesses come and go. What makes Ocean Springs different is that when a business closes, another is there almost immediately to take its place.
"We are very fortunate to host festivals practically every month, which generates plenty of activity for our local restaurants and shops," Ocean Springs Chamber executive director Cynthia Sutton explained. "And we have a great community. Our shops and restaurants, they get to know each other so everybody helps everybody."
Twisted Anchor Tattoo Parlor and Art Gallery will open with a special reception and art show Thursday night. It is the fourth day the Off The Hook Fish House has been open.