PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- For more than 100 industrial suppliers and distributors, the Jackson County Industrial Trade Show is more than your average networking event. They say the "building business" is helping Jackson County get back on its feet.
"The money that is spent in Jackson County turns over and it means employees, more tax dollars, it means better schools, better roads, just a way of life," said Lynn Rouse, President of TAB Industries.
Local distributors are courting potential clients, vying for new chances to help fuel the local economy.
Rouse says he's excited about the impact Northrop Grumman's latest contract could have on his business.
"There's an opportunity of a $40 billion project that these suppliers here that are participating in this program will have access to," Rouse said.
Fifteen businesses had gold ribbons displayed at their tables, because they've been a part of the trade show for 19 years. Rouse says it's a sign that if companies do business at home, they can thrive for decades.
And those long standing companies can help others recover.
"We have a few businesses here that were wiped out after Katrina. They're back, they're here, they're showcasing their products and what they have to offer like everyone else," said Carla Todd, Exec. Director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
Todd says that's a sure sign that the most industrialized area in Mississippi is back in business, working to move Jackson County forward.
The trade show will wrap up Wednesday at the Jackson County Civic Center in Pascagoula from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
By Keli Rabon