WLOX lead off last night’s newscast with the closure of three Old Town Bay St Louis small businesses, the latest victims of Katrina’s local economic impact and out of control insurance rate increases. Just Duit was in business for 12 years. Pre Katrina the OldTown/Main Street shopping district was a small business mecca of sorts with all manner of art galleries, restaurants and gift shops. At 1:04 in the WLOX video is a gentleman whom Commissioner Chaney is familiar as he attended his wedding last year in Vicksburg. He is running out of places to buy “nice things” for his wife, whom I’m certain Mr Chaney would agree is a fantastic young lady. Like the old days Hancock Countians have Slidell to fall back upon. Bobby Jindal could make good use of the sales tax…..
Commissioner Chaney also no doubt remembers Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tish William’s presentation last August at Gene Taylor’s town hall meeting. Following is the You Tube video of her segment where she has small business owners stand as she recounts how out of control insurance costs were “killing” them and how they were left out of the vast majority of post Katrina economic redevelopment funding. Three of those small business owners who stood with Tish then have now disappeared from the scene….
The small business equipment grants have proven very popular. For Just Duit however, it is too little too late. It’d be nice if the MDA would remember the small businesses that were providing local jobs before the storm.
There is an election coming. For the slabbed that hail from the small business community, being called the “backbone of the economy” is now seen as political lip service. I’m urging those whom I associate to look at which candidate for the Senate will match the lip service with action.