Starting a new business can be a daunting task. It may seem like all it takes is an idea and some capital, but there is a lot of planning and resources that go into such an endeavor. One of the most surprising expenses can be just how much it costs to rent a space. Well, there is help in downtown Pascagoula thanks to Anchor Square.
“Anchor Square is a small business incubator for the city of Pascagoula,” said LaLinda Grace, Economic Development Specialist for the city. “It is a group of 15 MEMA cottages that have been repurposed for retail and restaurant use. The goal is to offer low overhead for new, or new to Pascagoula, businesses. Anchor Square allows them to come in, establish their business, grow, and then move out to vacant properties in town.”
To date, Anchor Square has seen the transition of several businesses, including Zeal Boutique, Alan Hinklel Photography, Gourmet Gurl, and Whimsy Books & Toys.
“It gives an opportunity for someone who wants to open a business and a place to start off with low cost, so that they’re not having to put in a lot of their own personal money,” Grace said. “It’s easier to start a business here than somewhere that maybe has a higher rent or things like that.”
The main purpose of Anchor Square is to serve as a starting-off point for small businesses. There are plans in place to make sure the businesses eventually move out of that location.
“Rent on our cottages increases by 10 percent each year for our tenants,” Grace explained. “We have two different cottage options: a single with a $235 per month rent and a double with a $291 per month rent, with tenants signing a one-year lease. We also have a transition policy in place where we do an evaluation of each business each year to help them move out. Businesses are usually able to stay for three years before they need to transition out.”
For more information about Anchor Square, including a list of current businesses, visit their website or call Grace at (228) 938-2352. Anyone interested in getting advice on opening a small business can also visit the Anchor Square office or talk to the present tenants.