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Author Archives: Lisa Monti

Waveland manufacturer pivots from storefronts to face shields

By LISA MONTI Infinity-AP, the custom storefront fabrication company in Waveland that manufactures custom storefronts for major retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and the PINK chain of stores, is now manufacturing face shields for medical workers. The production of the face shield – both the bracket that attaches to the head and the shield itself – began ...

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MBJ FOCUS: State’s tourism tumbles amid pandemic

By LISA MONTI The year started out on an upbeat note for the Coast’s tourism industry. The visitor numbers for January and February were the best in four years, and March was on track to continue the trend. Nearly $750 million worth of projects including upscale hotels and the Mississippi Aquarium were on the verge of opening. Coastal Mississippi, the ...

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Small businesses get creative to keep going

By LISA MONTI Small business owners in coastal Mississippi are getting creative with how they’re responding to the ever-changing conditions they suddenly find themselves operating in. Keeping their employees and their customers safe is top of their minds, along with keeping their businesses running. Midtown Pharmacy & Gifts in Bay St. Louis is using the parking lot to accommodate customers ...

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Mississippi-owned honey biz creating quite the buzz

By LISA MONTI Joshua Reeves started on the path to beekeeping about 10 years ago in Ohio, where he and his wife bought a two-acre “hobby farm.” That’s a farm with chickens and such, “but not enough to make a living off of,” Reeves said. The Lucedale native, who has a business management degree, was making an actual living as ...

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New hotel set for February opening in D’Iberville

The new Hampton Inn & Suites in D’Iberville has a target opening date of Feb. 20, when it will unveil the newest design of the popular Hilton brand to the city. The four story, 89 room property in the Promenade Shopping Center is steps away from another Hilton hotel, the Home 2 Suites, which has been open for seven years. ...

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U.S. 90 corridor attracting business in Hancock County

By LISA MONTI There’s been a string of new businesses opening in the past year or so on the section of U.S. 90 that runs through Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Starting near the foot of the Bay Bridge and stretching to the outskirts of Waveland, doors have opened on new antique shops, restaurants and health care and fitness facilities ...

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Fleurty Girl branching out to Mississippi

Fleurty Girl founder Lauren LeBlanc Haydel will open her first Mississippi location next year in the heart of downtown Bay St. Louis. It will be the eighth Fleurty Girl shop that’s known for clothing, gifts, home decor, jewelry and other items celebrating all things New Orleans, from the Saints and LSU football to Mardi Gras, beignets and red beans. Targeted ...

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Coast chefs’ new coffeeshop takes off

It just happened to work out that Thomas and Dana Hirsch-Barrett opened Coffee Culture, their new coffee shop in Bay St. Louis, on Small Business Saturday. “It was a coincidence but we were hoping to open on Nov. 30 because we truly are what a small business is,” Hirsch-Barrett said. Coffee Culture is the chef couple’s first foray into operating ...

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Cruisin’ the Coast to rev up economy

By LISA MONTI In its 23rd year, Cruisin’ the Coast is a tourism juggernaut that reliably revs up the coast economy during what used to be a slow season. This year’s classic car party, which celebrates vehicles 1989 and older, is expected to be another record breaker when Cruisin’ rolls across the three coastal counties Oct. 6-13 Car owners had ...

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Mississippi Aquarium spurs development in downtown Gulfport

By LISA MONTI The $93 million Mississippi Aquarium is coming out of the ground on the East Beach service road in Gulfport, on track to open late this year or by early 2020. The attraction is expected to draw as many as 500,000 visitors a year and generate $340 million in annual revenue. It’s also gotten the attention of  developers, ...

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