New Businesses Popping Up In Downtown Pascagoula

Lisa Ash is first to admit it was not easy decision to open a new business in downtown Pascagoula, especially after Katrina.

"I never had a retail business or any other business, so this is my first venture," Ash said. "There is always that scared factor."

But since opening the doors to Wild Azalea Interiors in November, customers and cash have continued to pour in.

"We lack businesses that are unique in Pascagoula. Ocean Springs has a lot of Creative business over there. I just thought if we started something others would follow," Ash said.

And they have. Since Katrina, at least ten new shops have opened in the downtown area alone. Main Street Manager Rebecca Davis says it all about location.

"Downtown is your heartbeat your central business district," Davis said. "Downtown brings people together. So, no, I am not shocked at all. It is actually a great thing."

Rosemary Rodgers agrees. For years, she sold clothing out of her home. Now, Rodgers is the proud owner of J. T. Armstrong Clothing Shop. And she brought a few family members on board to share in the wealth.

"I said, 'We can have a boutique in the front and a salon in the back.' So we have a salon in the back called Upscale Salon and my daughter runs that," Rodgers said.

City officials are planning to increase downtown's parking area, so people can travel easier from shop to shop.

"We have put a plan together where we would block off Magnolia Street," Davis said.

That would give downtown room for 71 parking spaces for customers to stop and shop.

Davis says she's received calls from dozens of new restaurants showing interest in moving into the downtown area. She also says they'll start work on the parking project in the next couple of months.