Small Businesses Make Big Impact In D'Iberville

They may be small business owners, but in one coast city they are having a big impact on economic recovery. D'Iberville city and business leaders say they're seeing a growing number of people deciding to be their own bosses, and the city is benefiting.

Charlana Pickich is living the dream of owning her own hair salon for a second time. She says after she lost her home to Katrina, she sold her Gulfport salon and moved to Alabama. Now she's back to giving shampoos and haircuts, only this time in D'Iberville.

"Really just starting over," said Pickich. "I'm trying to bring back my clientele and basically just rebuild my business."

For 10 years, Carlos Puig researched what it would take to open a business. Now he's managed to launch two stores in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and he's catering to a growing market.

"A lot of Hispanics are coming here for the jobs and we created this little store to provide some of the services that they need," said Puig.

D'Iberville city leaders couldn't be more thrilled to see a growing number of small business owners investing in this community.

"After most disasters, historically, small businesses go out of business and never return," said City Manager Richard Rose. "I think here in D'Iberville, and hopefully this is happening all over the coast, that small business are popping up. We're very thankful for that."

After Katrina reduced some businesses to slabs, Rose says the city is especially grateful for those who are stepping in to fill the gaps.

"A lot of new types of businesses, a lot of entrepreneurs out there that are looking to take advantage of an idea that they've had probably for many years," said Rose. "Now they're going to expand on it. So we are seeing a lot of new types of businesses come into our town."

Both the hair salon and the Latin store are located in a new shopping center on Seventh Avenue completed after the hurricane.