Small businesses playing role in revitalizing area around declining Metrocenter Mall

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 6:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Small business owners transformed a former bank near the Metrocenter Mall to be a part of revitalizing the area.

The group encourages others to be the change in West and South Jackson to restore the area.

“Everybody has not forgotten this side of town,” said Blue Skyz Still Waters Massage Therapy owner Matthew Haynes.

Two months ago, the License Massage Therapist and six partners purchased the old Region Bank building on Robinson Road and opened a shop. Inside is the Hemp World South Therapeutic Lounge.

The facility caters to those needing pain management with other office spaces.

Upstairs, he serves patients suffering from pain from accidents and other injuries. The Jackson native and his group say they saw the potential in the area.

“We shouldn’t always have to leave the west and south Jackson for amenities and services,” said Haynes. “I feel that we should do our part and bring businesses back.”

The Jackson State University graduate said many have written off the area, but he sees an opportunity for turnaround with thriving businesses all around him. Owners said it’s quietly happening.

Just a mile south, small businesses fill another building on Robinson Road. Salons, a daycare, an insurance company, and a brake shop are housed there.

Across the way, the old Home Depot and Office Depot buildings sat empty for years. Now, Extra Space Storage has opened.

Little by little, Haynes said Jacksonians operating small businesses will be the catalyst for revival.

“When you have businesses coming in, open up shop they see something in this area,” said Haynes. “Not only a tax base, something to be proud of and again with more businesses that means more eyes. With more eyes, it means less opportunity for crime to happen.”

The small business owner said despite the perception, there is money to be made serving residents in West and South Jackson, keeping them from having to travel across town or out of the county.

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