The Gulfport City Council has passed an expansion of their tax abatement program. The program was started after Hurricane Katrina as an incentive for businesses to rebuild on Highway 90, but it only went so far. There are still many vacant properties and slabs left over from the 26 businesses that never came back. One of the first restaurants to rebuild on the beach after Katrina was Salute. While owners didn't receive tax abatement themselves, it was important for them to be in Gulfport.
Robert Stinson, the owner of Salute, says, “Gulfport was such a great environment for us with what's around us, with the renovations and all the historical properties that were here, but more importantly to me, it was kind of like home. This was a great area where I really felt like I could feel at home.” Gulfport city officials are hoping other businesses and home owners will come home to Gulfport with the new program. The abatement has been extended from Courthouse Road all the way down to Debuys, and as new businesses pop up, city officials say it creates a ripple effect