BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Howard Avenue was once the epicenter of a busy downtown Biloxi. The area was gaining more momentum as businesses began to return following length roadwork in the area.
Then, the pandemic brought everything to a halt. Now, businesses are re-opening and making a return once again.
The Mardi Gras Museum was finally getting a feel for their first-year expectations when the pandemic began.
“It’s almost like we just reopened and putting the word out that we are open, that we are welcoming and we have something enjoyable to do,” said Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum Executive Director Tammy Smith.
The museum is now charging only $5 to further encourage people to visit, and they believe the casinos reopening could help their business.
Marley’s Music has been focusing more on the online aspect of their business as they slowly begin welcoming people back inside.
“We opened March 14 and, a couple days later, everything shut down," said the store’s owner Marley Roberts. “We’ve been doing a lot of online sales and auctions which has really helped us keep things going.”
The store staff say the lessening of restrictions has led to more people coming in to check out music.
"(Tuesday) has been one of the busiest days I’ve been in. Not likes it’s been the busiest day ever, but it’s just busy today. And it’s great to see a lot of people coming in,” said Marley’s Music employee Sonja Miller.
While COVID-19 has increased the challenges of small business ownership, optimism still exists in the area.
“I think we will be better than before," said Andrea Jenkins, who owns The Threaded Cork. “People have really focused in on small businesses and just really supporting each other, and I think this has really opened our eyes to see the other things we can accomplish in our city. So I am very confident that we will be stronger than before.”