HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -Think of the Thursday’s gathering of the Downtown Hattiesburg Association as a Janus-like experience, with the organization taking a lingering look back at 2022 before turning its attention to what might be coming down the pike in 2023.
“I think it was a banner season,” said Michael Marks, president of the board for the Downtown Hattiesburg Association. “It was the first time that we received arbor funding, state funding that we can apply to local projects.
“It was the first time that we allowed for (an) imagine grant from the city, so that’s huge.”
Over the last five years, the Downtown Hattiesburg Association celebrated 125 new jobs created, Marks said.
Other impressive numbers included:
- Twenty-six new businesses
- Nearly $30 million dollars in private investment
- Some $36 million devoted for public investment in the downtown area.
Phil Eich believes Hattiesburg is writing a wonderful story, and he should know.
Eich is a storyteller who works for a business called Storyteller and he served as the keynote speaker at Thursday’s HDA annual meeting at the Hattiesburg Train Depot.
“When you understand the stories of the place that you live, it literally changes your world,” Eich said. “How we experience our world is through the people and the businesses and the community that we meet when we walk outside our door.
“If we don’t know those things, we are missing out on such an intense relationship with our community.”
Storyville already has highlighted one Hattiesburg mainstay, Coney Island Cafe.
For more about Storyville, visit https://storyville.substack.com/
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