MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The old saying goes – “when one door closes, another one opens”.
Winona residents are hoping that’s true after another retailer announces it’s leaving town.
Winona is experiencing a major loss due to Fred’s and Walmart no longer in town.
City leaders are now on the search for stores that will offer shopping and supply grocery needs.
“We’re a strong town and we’re gonna come back,” said Director of Economic Development Sue Stidham.
With Walmart closed and Fred’s soon closing up shop, Stidham said Winona is in a tough spot.
” Hit with the Fred’s closing is really crippling our ability to supply citizens needs.” There’s no doubt that it hurts all of our citizens that were accustomed to Walmart for whatever they need,” said Stidham.
Now, if consumers want to shop at a Walmart, they will have to travel over 25 miles down the road.
But food isn’t the only concern on Stidham’s list – it’s the town’s revenue.
“When you have one closing of one business it affects all the businesses because you have less traffic coming through. When Walmart left it really hurt us as far as sales tax is concerned,” said Stidham.
Without sales tax, Winona could experience another issue of not having funds to keep the roads maintained.
Stidham said to keep money flowing in the town, citizens should try to shop in Winona more often.
“I know it’s more convenient that if you can’t find it here then to go to Walmart. But then they tend to buy other things that they could be buying here,” said Stidham.
Montgomery County District 5 Supervisor Janet Roby-Harper said this gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to bring their business to Winona.
“We are gonna consistently call to get any businesses that we can to come here, relocate here, start here, whatever. We still have Dollar General, we still have the other little mom and pop shops stores,” said Harper.
In the meantime, Harper is asking for citizens to be patient while the town works to bring in businesses.
“We’re just trying to grow our county,” said Harper.
Stidham suggested anyone with business ideas to contact her at the Economic Development Partnership.