PONTOTOC, MISS. (WCBI) – It’s a grand opening for a famous restaurant.
This state of the art facility replaces the McDonald’s that stood in the same location since 1986. Back then, Rob Hudson and his family hired about 40 employees for the restaurant, now, they have hired 85 people and they are still looking to fill positions.
Hudson says through the years, Pontotoc has been a strong city for their business.
“It’s a town that continues to do well, over the years we have had continued growth, year over year, regardless of what’s happened with the economy and it seems that Pontotoc is just an anomaly and it’s a community that continues to thrive,” he said.
That optimism is being felt in the downtown area as well. Here along Main Street, new stores are opening, and a grant from First National Bank is helping some storefronts get a facelift.
Over at the Chamber of Commerce, director Ellen Russell says the area is in a forward motion for several reasons.
“I feel like the growth here and stability we have is due to our strong structure of family as far as a good place to raise children, where family comes first and we love every second,” Russell said
That is the primary reason Margaret Kelly opened the town’s newest gift and clothing store, Flutter and Company ,two months ago.
“We chose Pontotoc simply because it’s a family oriented town, we like the quaintness of downtown, everyone has been welcoming and inviting, and extra sweet people,” Kelly said.
A few streets over, Nancy Maxey and her crew at Take a Load Off, or TALO, are preparing for the lunchtime crowd. She opened the restaurant a year ago . She chose this spot because it is across the street from a new community marketplace and a block or so away from Tanglefoot Trail, the newly opened recreational bike path. Plus, she says local folks support hometown businesses.
“The local people really want business to stay in Pontotoc. I’ve always been a promoter of shop Pontotoc first and keep our tax dollars in Pontotoc,” Maxey said.
Whether they’re newcomers, or veterans, business owners are hoping all the positive signs add up to a strong Christmas shopping season.