Downtown Hattiesburg has seen a large boom in new businesses, attracting more revenue to the Hub City.
The downtown area has welcomed eight new businesses, including restaurants, snow cone shops and retail stores since January 2023.
The Downtown Hattiesburg Association said they expect at least half a dozen more new businesses by the end of the year.
“Any time a building that has sat vacant, like this building, while getting it back into service, this was not generating any kind of sales tax revenue and very little property tax revenue. So, having them redeveloped and then occupied with thriving new businesses, you’re generating a sales tax base, which obviously feeds into filling potholes and doing projects for the city, but then also property tax,” explained Andrea Saffle, executive director of the Downtown Hattiesburg Association.
“The little ice cream shop here didn’t have a roof or anything, so we had to store this one. About 30 to 40 percent of the roof was gone on these two boutique stores here. And so, we had to bring those back. I take a lot of pride and joy bringing these old buildings that were on the verge of collapsing and bringing them back to life,” said Harry Goff, an independent property developer.
Leaders with the Downtown Hattiesburg Association said they hope to add more business space and a bodega in the near future.