Support local businesses during extended hours

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018

If there’s one thing we know well in Picayune, it’s that if you want to conduct business at a locally owned store, it will have to be done before 5 p.m.

This problem is even more extreme with some locally owned restaurants.

We have exceptional places to find a bite in our fair cities, so it’s sad that more than half close their doors mid afternoon. Most of us who have lived here long enough have become accustomed to either getting our goods, or dinner, before the close of the business day, or just driving to a nearby city after work.

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And the situation is not restricted to weekdays, many businesses in town are closed on the weekends.

All of this leads to a loss of tax dollars in a time when Picayune and Poplarville desperately need them.

We’ve put effort into enticing people to not drive to Slidell to do their shopping.

However, when it comes to providing the hours to achieve that goal, it creates a catch 22.

While we are advocating for longer operating hours, it’s ultimately going to be up to our residents to conduct business at those establishments that will be open. Otherwise, business owners will lose money.

This topic was discussed at a recent Picayune Main Street meeting, and the discussion led to a trial run.

In a mass email to Picayune Main Street members, the organization announced that some local businesses will stay open until 7 p.m. every third Thursday during the summer. While a list of participating retailers is unavailable at press time, it will be interesting to see which locally owned businesses will remain open those extra hours. Two more hours may not seem like a lot, but it is enough time to get dinner, or buy a gift for a loved one at the last minute.

I hope the list of participating businesses is long, and I hope the line of customers is as well.