MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Over the past two years, retail stores like Sears, Rue 21, JCPenney and Geoffrey have left Meridian. But the city of Meridian says new promising businesses are opening here.
"We have some new restaurants on the north side of Meridian including PJ's Coffee that's on the way, as well as Shipley Donuts. Plus other things on the horizon, such as the Threefoot Building and the children's museum," said Laura Carmichael, community development director.
Bringing new businesses can create opportunities for employment, community involvement and economic growth.
"It’s beneficial for our community not only for an economic standpoint, but also from a quality of life standpoint. New businesses help the economy by hiring employees and sales," said Carmichael.
Newscenter 11 asked people, what businesses would they like to see come to Meridian? Some of the answers were Whole Foods, Kroger and Target.
Carmichael says that the city actively looks for those types of businesses, but says it's a process.
"From a corporate level, they look at things like our demographics and our market, as to whether we're big enough to come to," Carmichael said.
Some consumers say that there needs to be a better way to support new businesses and to keep them here.
"I think we need to have more industrial-type jobs, so they can provide income to help support those businesses succeed once they get here," said Meridian resident Andy Weir.
"Poverty breeds crime," said resident Lisa Gant. "I would like to see people have opportunities to find decent paying jobs, so they'll be able to support the retail businesses that would come here."