ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WHLT) – Downtown Ellisville is becoming a popular spot for new businesses. Several new small business-owned shops and restaurants have recently opened in the area.

Many historic buildings on Front and Court Streets have been remodeled for new shops and eateries.

“There’s a new flower shop and a new barber shop right here on the corner. Completely renovated that building. It’s super nice,” said Ellisville Mayor Lynn Buckhaults.

The area has seen a recent influx of new small businesses, ranging from coffee shops, a restaurant-style butchery and boutiques.

“I love old towns, and I love old towns with potential. And there’s life here, and there’s just because there’s room for growth for sure. So, we want it to be in a town that appreciated that and where the locals already supported it,” said Sarah Hinton, the owner of Bennie Mae’s Ice Cream Shop.

Business owners said nearby Jones Community College helps keep business alive.

“When they’re in session, I think there are around 2,000 extra people in Ellisville. And so, they’re shopping here. They’re buying gas here. They’re buying food here. So therefore, they’re paying taxes here,” said Ashli Hernandez, the owner of The Coffeehouse at Brookside.

City and county officials say Ellisville’s economy is also seeing a boost.

“The last sales tax check we got for the quarter was the highest that the City of Ellisville has ever received,” stated Buckhaults.

“We’ve all suffered, especially here in the Pine Belt, when the oil industry went down. That was a big driving force. But, you know, we’ve all felt the same crunch around here. But having the new economic development come in, it’s been a blessing,” said Chris Tullos, director of the Jones County Chamber of Commerce.

Buckhaults said he expects more economic growth after the completion of the infrastructure updates to the downtown sidewalks, roads and lights.