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HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI)- Houston’s Mayor Stacey Parker envisions big things for his town. The city wants to buy a warehouse that could bring small industries to the area.

“With us owning the piece of property,it gives us another avenue to help assist maybe someone else who’s willing to come here,” said Mayor Parker.

Parker believes purchasing the manufacturing building will help Houston’s economy soar. That’s why the city is trying to help Quality Iron, a homegrown and home owned business, expand to add up to 15 jobs.

“Small business and industries we have in our community are our backbone to survival, as far as jobs, economic development, the recreational side. Everything is an input to us as far as the people that live here. Smaller ones, you’re looking at 20 to 100 jobs, make a world of difference in a community,” said Parker.

It’s already making a big difference. Webster County sisters Linda Stevens and Becky Johnson moved to Houston last year to open their store Silly Whispers. They’ve already seen a boom, not only locally, but from all across Northeast Mississippi.

” People from like Coffeeville, Tupelo, Starkville, Columbus, Greenwood. People have seen us and just come,” said Linda Stevens.

As business continues to trickle down, it’s already having a ripple effect. More business allows Linda and Becky to hire more people.

“You have so much that you can give back to the community,” said Becky Johnson.

“We’ve been able to employ part-time and full time people from this area, as well as from Webster County and that’s been important to us, you know, we’re both sisters. We even employ a set of sisters,” said Linda Stevens.

Parker hopes the impact of small businesses and industries continues.

“We’ve got some great people willing to step out on a leap of faith. We have to make sure we take care or try to sustain those that are here,” said Mayor Parker.

Mayor Parker also expects the 44-mile Tanglefoot bike and pedestrian trail to bring business and visitors.

That former railroad bed between New Albany and Houston will open this fall as a paved trail with welcome centers and whistle stops.


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