NAS Tied to Economy

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NAS Meridian brings thousands of people, and as many jobs to the area, both directly and indirectly, and if it closes, it could leave some business people scrambling to make up for lost customers and lost cash.

It's not unusual to see Meridian cabs all about town. Many of the times you see them, they're either headed to or from NAS Meridian.

Meridian Cab Company does about thirty percent of its business from the base, more than any other single entity.

"Very important. It's the main bloodline for the company," said Clemmie Mathis of Meridian Cab.

That's one of the main reasons Mathis has joined the Navy League, to support a base that's given him so much support over the years.

Meridian's Navy League is as big as it has ever been, more than 1,000 members strong, making it the eighth largest Navy League in the world. That's one of the main reasons, the threat of impending closure at the base.

And Navy League officials say they hope growing support from the business community will help keep NAS off the list of bases that will have to close.

"What would happen? We just don't know," said Navy League member Carolyn Smith. "So we want to do everything we can and we think this will help tremendously."

That's why Meridian Cab Company and its owner will be doing everything possible, because without it, they believe they'd be in trouble.

"We won't be as fat; I'll put it like that. It will be slim. There will be some cutbacks as far as cabs, and loss of jobs," said Mathis.

That's something most every business in Meridian fears, and that's why they plan to do all they can to prevent the base from closing.

Meridian's Air National Guard base could also be on the list of bases up for closure. That list is due to be released on May 16, 2005.