Business booming downtown

Published 2:59 pm Sunday, January 22, 2023

By Staff Writer Rob Sigler

Folks who travel through the downtown district of Picayune have certainly noticed several new businesses in the area.

It’s hard not to.
More than a dozen new businesses called downtown Picayune home in 2022. Three more businesses relocated to downtown last year.

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And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

So far in 2023, eight more businesses are planning to open soon or in the near future.

One of those new businesses is The Gumdrop Candy Shop, which held a grand opening at 118 South Quince Street last week. So far owner Tali Schwaner says business has been good. Visit their website here. 

“Business has been pretty steady and I am very excited to bring a place that makes everyone happy to our city,” said Schwaner.

Main Street Picayune executive director Reba Beebe says the downtown area has become a bustling area and she is hopeful for the future.

“I am excited to see many new entrepreneurs start their own business and follow their dreams,” said Beebe. “As a Main Street program, one of our goals is downtown revitalization through our Economic Vitality projects in historic downtown Picayune. Our motto ‘Community Development Precedes Economic Development’ has proven to draw new businesses to the downtown area and we are positive our 2023 projects will continue to draw new businesses.”

Beebe said historically downtown areas across the nation have cycles of booming and also go through slow times with empty storefronts. Currently, that’s not a problem in Picayune.

“Downtown Picayune does not have any available vacancies for rent and just one building available for sale with a pending contract,” said Beebe.
Asked if Picayune is becoming a destination for new businesses, Beebe said the attraction of new business is county-wide with a lot of entrepreneurs developing their in-home business into a brick and mortar. And several locally owned businesses decided to expand in 2022.
“Picayune is attracting new businesses and not just in the downtown area,” Beebe said. “Commercial real estate sales are still active throughout the county.
“Several of our new businesses have been locally owned home businesses that have grown and now have a storefront.”
She said some street festival participants from outside Picayune have decided to open or are in the process of opening businesses in downtown Picayune.
Councilman Frank Ford, who’s district includes the downtown area, said he applauds these entrepreneurs for their can-do spirit and encourages others to follow.

He too is pleasantly surprised by the new business growth in downtown Picayune in this post-COVID economy.
“The message I have is that we’re open for business,” Ford said.



Downtown Picayune has seen tremendous growth over the last year. Here’s a list of new businesses, courtesy of Main Street Picayune:

OPENED in 2022

Owen Law Firm

114 East Canal Street


Nell’s Sweets and Treats

901 Palestine Road


Ruth Ann’s Retail

115 Hwy 11 North


The Gumdrop Candy Shop

118 South Quince


The Mercantile on Canal

125 West Canal


Cottage Style

127 A West Canal


Kenzie Jane

127 B West Canal


Seven 98 Boutique

212B West Canal


Noble House Estate & Consignment Store

141 Kirkwood Street


Champion’s Bistreaux

113 West Canal


OuterBanks Axe House

112 Elizabeth Street



222 West Canal


MS Land Sales

325 North Main



WOW Nails & Spa

115 Hwy 11 South


Sweet Pete’s Monogramming

209 West Canal


Barousse Designs

313 East Canal


Huppo Chic

311 North Main St.



Soap de Jolie

201 East Canal


Glamour House

209 East Canal


Midtown Darling Boutique

710 West Canal Ste A


Cotton Blossom Florist

319 West Canal


Ahurewa Bodywork Retreat

422 West Canal



211 West Canal

304 A West Canal

216 East Canal