Ocean Springs Business Closes For Good - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/23/05

Ocean Springs Business Closes For Good

After almost 23 years of working for American Identity, import/export manager Roger May is shipping out one of his final orders.

"This was one of the companies that we imported stuff out of Mexico for. This was some material that they use to manufacture scrubs, medical scrubs, things of that nature. This is some fabric that they ship back out of Mexico that they no longer needed, and it went back to their facility in Portal, Georgia. And that was the last of that company's business," May said.

American Identity has been a source of business and employment since 1950, manufacturing things from promotional jackets to baseball caps.

At the end of this month, with only two employees, the business will close its doors for good- mainly because of economics.

"It has a little bit to do with NAFTA, it has a little bit to do with China, because China now can produce the product much cheaper than Mexico can," May said.

Because of this cheaper production in other countries, the company has been phasing out its staff and production in Ocean Springs since 1999.

"Because of the free trade agreement, I'm losing my position. So I'm not very happy with it, but for the business itself who has to deal with the price, it's to their advantage," said May.

And as for Roger May, he hopes for a new job that he can enjoy, just like the one he is leaving.

American Identity's last business day will be next Thursday, June 30th.

Ocean Springs Mayor Seren Ainsworth says a meeting will be held in the near future to discuss redevelopment of that property.

By Karla Redditte

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