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Free retail and business forum set Monday night

The city is hosting a free retail and business forum at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Pascagoula Senior Center on Live Oak Avenue.

Anyone  interested in opening a small business and retail shop is encouraged to attend.

City officials along with local retailers and restaurant owners along with representatives of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation and the Jackson County Small Business Incubator will be on hand along with other business support groups.

"We wanted to provide anyone interested in opening a retail store or business in Pascagoula the chance to learn about the great opportunities throughout the city," Harry Schmidt, the city's community development director said. "We also want them to know the city is here to help in any way we can."

At the meeting, officials also will unveil plans for the Pascagoula Cottage Village under construction downtown on Delmas Avenue. About 16 Mississippi cottages will be rented to retailers interested in setting up shop at the site.

The city is hoping to recruit artists, outfitters and outdoor tour guides along with restaurants and specialty shops in that location.

The Cottage Village is considered a crucial development in the Flagship City because it will further connect the downtown area around Delmas Avenue to the redeveloped riverfront.  The hope is to create a downtown shopping destination that  could also serve as as an incubator for growing businesses throughout the city.

Anyone with questions or those planning to attend should call Schmidt at 938-6651 or e-mail him at