I spend a good bit of time in our communities each month visiting with local small business owners. They provide me with valuable feedback on how things are going–whether businesses is good or not so good–and how they think things will be in the short term. They are the experts of our local economies.
Currently, the overall feel of the business world around the area is soft but improving. Sales of goods and services are inching up in many places or at least not trending downward. The local housing market is still recovering from the national crash of 2008, just like everywhere else, but getting better. And, new job opportunities are trickling in from modest expansions in local industries.
Some of our communities have worked tirelessly with their local business owners to improve the most visible parts of the town to bring visitors, business and tax dollars back to the area. New tourism opportunities, such as the Mississippi Music Museum in Hazlehurst, have bolstered the efforts.
One important thing that helps all of our local businesses is when we shop in our communities first. Local business owners are your neighbors–remember this before the next time you click on that “Buy Now” button. Learn to depend on them. They sincerely appreciate it!