Jackson County Businesses Looking Up From Katrina's Ruins

The aroma of fresh seafood po-boys and boiled crawfish fills the air at Bozo's Seafood Market.

"It's great to have it back. Definitely," customer Judah Ropiak says.

It's a whiff of recovery, considering what it smelled like six months ago.

"Rotten seafood," Manager Agnes Delcambre says.

Delcambre helps run the popular Pascagoula lunch stop. The eatery opened last month, but it still hasn't completely recovered from Katrina's mess. Finding employees seems to be the main problem.

"It's hard to train somebody to do this: work in seafood, cashier, do the deli. Not many people can do so many things," Delcambre says.

Chamber of Commerce members say the lack of employees and not enough money are the problems facing small businesses in Jackson County.

"Money's been the biggest issue just to get them back going, get them started again, the clean up," Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Darryl Brown says.

"It's not necessarily an issue of needing the money. It's when will the money be here? When can I settle with my insurance company? When will I be able to get my SBA money? That's what's caused the lull with the businesses getting back into operation," Jackson County Chamber of Commerce President Carla Todd says.

But those issues didn't keep Bozo's poboys out of hungry mouths too long. Bozo's rebuilt with no flood insurance and little outside help.

Delcambre says with determination every Jackson County business can do the same.

"It's hard, but I think if you have the courage and you want to. You've got to know this is what you want to do. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get up and do it," Delcambre says.

Chamber of Commerce President Carla Todd says the chamber will be putting on the Tri-County Job Fair in June. They hope this helps link eager workers to needy employers.