• 45°

Natchez’s renewal is well on its way

I’m a numbers guy. Words come cheap — results are what count.

So the other day in a meeting with our department heads at city hall, I asked for some key numbers. This is what I got:

150: The number of building permits issued by the City of Natchez since July.

$3.901,689: The amount of new construction/ home and business improvements associated with these building permits.

20: The number of new business permits issued by the City of Natchez since July.

248: The number of new jobs associated with these new business permits.

This is a big deal. It provides proof that, even during a pandemic, the Natchez renewal is happening. Couple this news with the fact that local realtors report an amazing increase in real estate activity and we have reason to get excited.

All over Natchez, houses and buildings are selling that have been on the market for years. In addition, properties are being taken off the market because hope in Natchez is returning. And let’s not forget that Natchez is now the only city in the Deep South to offer an incentive program to attract remote workers looking to relocate — and prospects are already lining up.

Downtown, new gift shops and restaurants have opened, and existing businesses are reporting that their numbers are up.

We are now home to an internationally acclaimed art gallery, Conde Contemporary, relocated to Main Street from Boca Raton, Florida. The Rolling River Bistro is reopening under new ownership. The Pig Out Inn has re-opened as well, again under new ownership. Smoots has re-opened also and more re-openings and new restaurants and businesses are in the works.

Along North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, new salons and new restaurants have opened, along with a new medical clinic.

Along Seargent S. Prentiss Drive and John R. Junkin Drive, new restaurants, a rehabilitation clinic, a furniture store and an appliance store have also opened. The list even includes various offices, a nail salon, a security company, a bakery, a pharmacy, a shoe repair store and a foot detox center.

As if all of this weren’t enough evidence that our Natchez renewal is underway, consider the fantastic events that have been taking place, all with excellent attendance.

Our Balloon Festival Weekend was a tremendous success. Numerous other events, from large to small, have reported great numbers. The Second Annual Y’all Means All event raised thousands of dollars for mental health and suicide prevention.

And last Saturday, the Longwood Afternoon Festival was enjoyed by many and over 500 drive-by trick-r-treaters were safely served candy and other goodies in front of the Natchez Grand on Broadway.

To add to the good news, just this week, in a meeting with the presidents of the two garden clubs, I was excited to hear that the Fall Grand Pilgrimage came close to meeting pre-pandemic numbers. And all local tourism establishments, from restaurants to beds and breakfasts and guest houses have reported being busy every weekend.

Celebrate, Natchez! While other communities are struggling, we have every reason to be thankful. The Natchez Renewal is alive and well and the best is yet to come.

Dan M. Gibson is Mayor of Natchez.

News

Rep. Sam C. Mims, V, Awarded State Legislator of the Year by Rural Health Association

DEVELOPING NEWS

Natchez mayor announces change in Christmas parade plans after COVID-19 numbers spike

News

Bird’s-eye view: Artist with Natchez roots gives creations new perspective

News

Hundreds turnout for Natchez Christmas tree lighting Saturday night

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez-Adams schools to continue virtual learning only through December

News

E-911: Seconds can seem like minutes in emergencies (with audio)

COVID-19

Hospital CEO tests positive for COVID-19 as local cases rise

BREAKING NEWS

Flash flood warning issued for parts of Natchez

News

Hospitals using antibody therapy to help fight virus

News

Stewpot serves 300 Thanksgiving meals thanks to generous donations

News

Trash collection one day behind schedule for Thanksgiving

News

Ferriday man sentenced to life for 2019 slaying of Natchez schoolteacher

Business

Mayor: Silver Street raising and dock plans moving forward

News

Tree lighting event is Saturday in Natchez

News

Former Natchez Alderman David Massey dies at 72

News

Stewpot ready to serve needy on Thanksgiving

News

Saturday high-speed chase began in Louisiana, ended with crash in Natchez

News

No print edition of The Democrat on Friday

News

Natchez school board cancels bid opening for new high school due to COVID-19

News

5 Miss-Lou residents die of COVID-19 over weekend

News

Remains found in Natchez neighborhood

News

The Dart: Natchez resident loves music

News

Coroner: A Natchez woman dies with COVID-19 Sunday

DEVELOPING NEWS

Suspect in high-speed vehicle chase arrested in Natchez