Covid-19 impacting businesses on the Coast

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The way we do business here on the Coast has definitely changed to some degree with some places having to close down temporarily or even for good.

Anyone who has stopped by Shawn’s Petit Bois Liquor Store knows its owner, Shawn Guider, always does business with a smile. Typically this time of year, the Biloxi store is packed with spring breakers, but this March it is familiar faces that make up the bulk of her customers. “At first I was really concerned about the Spring Break Weekend being canceled, but sales have more than made up for that. People are not sure how long they’ll have to stay in, so they’re doubling or maybe even tripling their weekly orders.”

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With the Coronavirus threat, Guider and employees have been going above and beyond the typical spring cleaning.  “We keep Clorox, wipes, and gloves here. We sanitize cards, all our pens, the doorknobs, everything. We’re keeping up on it.”

While business is good here, Guider does hope help will soon be on the way for other small business owners. “Definitely. I have people who shop with me who work at the casinos, different places, who have lost their jobs, and my heart breaks for them.”

Not only the employees, but cities, like Biloxi, that depend on casino and local business sales tax revenues, are taking a hit overall.

The City of Biloxi, Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich, and Guider all survived and rebuilt after a somewhat similar challenge 15 years ago after Hurricane Katrina dealt her blow and believe history will repeat itself, as with generations before us, believe brighter days will eventually come again in due time once this too passes. Mayor Gilich said, “This was not forecast, not by anybody’s stretch. I’m sure generations before us, with different kinds of challenges, yellow fever, influenza, we’re in different times, and we can do better with today’s technology and the organizations we do have.”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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