It’s not new news that small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, however, a local plaza has made it through the shutdown and is ready to celebrate.
During a time when businesses are trying to get back on their feet after the COVID-19 shutdown, the Shoppes at Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs is celebrating a milestone: their one year anniversary. The Liquor House Wine and Spirits Co-Owner Susan Powell said, “It’s been really exciting, watching the businesses grow and seeing the new businesses take shape.”
The Shopping Plaza houses eight different businesses including restaurants, a nail salon, a liquor store, and a bank. Ocean Springs Business Owner Brandin Brosh said, “Business has been great. We’ve grown month over month and it’s just been a really fun experience and getting to know more of the people of Ocean Springs and being closer to home, it’s really been a joy.”
While business has been pouring in at the Liquor House, owned by Susan Powell, business has been thread-bare at a local clothing boutique owned by her daughter after being closed for nearly two months. “You know, you lose a lot of sales and the tourism drives a lot of sales, especially, you know, during these summer months. And so, it was difficult, you know, just trying to push through that while trying to maintain employees and make sure that they’re taken care of,” said Brosh.
While liquor stores were deemed essential during the COVID-19 shutdown, allowing them to stay open for business, they’ve run into their own pandemic related issues, including supply shortages. “The state has had a whole bunch of orders, so they’re running behind. So right now, the liquor stores are having a hard time getting product,” said Powell.
Powell says in order to get some products, she has to constantly scan the internet and hope she’s able to get her orders in before supply sells out. Trying to keep merchandise on the shelf, however, isn’t the worst problem to have. “Sales have been phenomenal. You know, people in the beginning were buying, just stocking up liquor because they were scared they were going to get stuck home with no liquor.”
After one year of business, the Liquor House is spilling over with gratitude for the community. “Overall, we just wanted to say thank you. We are so, so gracious for all of the support that we have received over the last year. It’s been such a humbling experience. And you know, without the community support that we have received, we would have never made it this far. And we look forward to many, many years to come,” said Brosh.