JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Jackson City Council is ending an agreement it had with a recruiter that was hired to attract retailers to the downtown area.

The Northside Sun reported the council agreed to hire NaviRetail in March 2021 to recruit retailers, perform market analysis and create custom marketing material for the area. The recruiter is to be paid $10,000 for its services.

NaviRetail CEO Casey Kidd said a business hasn’t yet opened in the downtown area, but said talks are ongoing and it may sometimes take years for a business to open. Kidd said NaviRetail gave the city’s Department of Planning and Development 38 reports.

The newspaper reported the department asked the city council to change the scope of the city’s agreement with NaviRetail to identify the best use of city-owned property across from the Jackson Convention Complex. In May, the city denied the request to change NaviRetail’s focus to a convention center hotel.

Councilman Ashby Foote said he would rather hire another city employee to look into the feasibility of a hotel rather than expand NaviRetail’s scope. Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay said she thinks the city should focus on addressing the issue internally.