Downtown is hopping! Let’s go shopping!

Published 1:28 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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This weekend is hopping with downtown shopping. Saturday there is a Big Hat Brunch at the Guest House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and rides on the Pedal Cruzer around downtown. Shops are open and the weather looks good.

This Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. is the Spring Open House downtown with door prizes, sidewalk sales, sidewalk art and just plain fun.

So why all the hoopla and activity? Part of it is weather related, as it is pleasant enough to be out and about before the long summer sweat fest starts.

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The other part is the sustainability aspect of it all. Downtown is for everyone and events such as these are for people who live here and are easy and friendly to attend. It is the combination of social and economic activities, and no place does that better in Natchez than downtown. But for that all to keep working, you got to show up and be a part. Hope to see you on the street downtown this weekend.

Showing up last week bright and early were many Natchez business people for Dr. Rachael Carter’s presentation about two things; the recent survey results of what Natchez wants downtown and the facts of what is going on in the downtown economy. The news about escaping dollars from here to other places was mixed, but basically positive, though with significant areas for improvement.

I’m always looking for perception incongruities between the survey results and the real life economic data. Do we want more of one thing when we already have plenty? There was such an item and it was restaurants. Natchez currently has more restaurants than a community this size would normally support. We draw in people from more than our 30-mile trade area to eat here. That is a good thing, as I believe food is the number one reason people go places or decide to live somewhere. My opinion. But the local survey said, and this was almost 500 people, the consensus is they wanted more restaurants.

So that reminded me of an old adage from my drag racing days, the quarter mile type of drag racing, though in retrospect it applies to the currently used term of drag. Goes like this: “If some is good, then more is better, and too much is just enough,” and that is great advice for compression ratios and camshaft lift and I suppose dresses and make up. I was just trying to keep an engine together running full throttle for ten seconds to win. It is a great saying that works in dragging, but not about business sustainability. Endurance is a good quality to have in business.

Another good business quality to have in business is time management. To that end the Woman’s Business Center at Alcorn State University is holding a free webinar April 4 at 6:30 pm on time management targeted at small business people already in business or who want to be. This webinar, part of a larger series, and all free, are solid training opportunities by local pros. Contact Alcorn at 601.304.4342 or email at to sign up.

Mickey Howley is executive director of the Downtown Natchez Alliance.