Category Archives: Retail

Starkville Farmers Market is Back

Starkville Farmers Market is Back

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Prather (courtesy

Starkville Community Market will be open this Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. at Fire Station No. 1 Park.

SCM manager and Greater Starkville Development Partnership special events coordinator Jennifer Prather reports that roughly eight to ten vendors are expected to sell early spring produce and other goods at the event; more growers and producers are expected to join when the market’s Saturday offerings begin May 6. “We’ve spoken to new vendors outside of Starkville about new offerings, like baked goods and goat’s cheese and milk. We’re looking to increase the variety,” she said.

The Market will be held at Fire Station No. 1’s greenspace, located at the intersection of Lampkin and Russell streets.

Prather went on to say, “We’re working with Starkville Utilities to help grow the capacity for electricity there. Many vendors require refrigeration for their products, so that’s a priority for us moving forward. We’re also working on a project to install new benches and garbage cans, and overall looking into other ways to better develop the area in a community friendly way . . . We’re really enjoying the location. The aesthetics make a huge difference because the area is friendly to vendors and shoppers.”

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Bargain Hunt, Vapezy Open; LA Shrimp Shack Shutters its Doors


In mid-February The Dispatch brought us the news that Bargain Hunt would be opening in Columbus in the former Southern Family Market location next to K-Mart. The store is now preparing for a grand opening to be held on March 17. Their new Columbus location is in addition to their existing one in Starkville, and more than sixty others nationwide.

The store’s hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. It will bring 25 new jobs to the area.

Highway 45 gained another new attraction in the form of Vapezy, a premium e-liquid and supply store located at 1909-B Hwy. 45 N.  Billy and Andrea Ezell opened Vapezy in September of last year.  The couple are originally from Webster County, where they became friends through the medium of vaping, that is, the enjoyment of vapor-producing electronic cigarettes.

“We want to present a greater sense of community than other shops,” Ezell said regarding the store’s future. “That’s what the vape scene is really about.”

While currently operating out of the store’s front section, there are plans to add a lounge into the 1,800 square-foot building. The store carries eight different lines of e-liquid and plans to expand to carry numerous vaping devices, from starter to advanced level, alongside additional e-liquids.  Vapezy is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Finally, the Louisiana Shrimp Shack quietly closed its doors on Feb. 21.  The Shrimp Shack originally opened Sept. 8, 2016, with Kenny Whitey, a fisherman from New Orleans, as owner. It was located at 1909-A Hwy. 45 N. and enjoyed much praise from locals for its fresh from the gulf seafood and “straight-outta-the-bayou” home-cooking.  Whitey said the travel to and from the shack was too much for the family to maintain.

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Academy Sports Coming to Starkville, Bringing Plenty of Jobs

Academy Sports Coming to Starkville, Bringing Plenty of Jobs

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of Starkville Daily News

Academy Sports+Outdoors on Highway 12 is nearing completion; the store is set to open in late spring, bringing around 100 new jobs to Starkville. The Starkville location will be Academy’s eighth location in Mississippi. The Starkville location will carry apparel for local sports teams. Academy Sports also sells products for outdoor sports and recreational activities.

Academy Sports+Outdoors on Highway 12 will open in late spring (photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)

“We’re always looking to expand, and we’re excited to offer the Starkville community a convenient new shopping destination,” Academy Sports Communication Specialist Karly Makovy said. “Because our store caters to active-minded customers, the Starkville area was a great fit … We are excited to be in Starkville and serve those Bulldog customers . . . The store is going to bring approximately 100 jobs to the area,” Makovy went on to say. “Information on job positions will be posted online. There is information on salary and part-time positions for those people.”

Applications are being accepted on the Academy career website.

“We’re really excited to enter the community,” Makovy said. “We could serve a lot of things in Starkville — a lot of outdoor activities that the community can be involved with. We’ve been eyeing the community for a while.”

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New Businesses Coming to Columbus, New Hope, Starkville

New Businesses Coming to Columbus, New Hope, Starkville

Courtesy of THE DISPATCH

Caleb Sherman of The Dispatch

New businesses are in the process of opening up shop for the convenience of customers!

In Columbus, Bargain Hunt is moving into the old Southern Family location next to K-Mart on 45

In New Hope, Starkville’s Smartphone Doctor will be adding a new location in the Lehmberg Crossing shopping center on Alabama St.

Starkville’s Main Street will be getting “Pop Porium,” a gourmet popcorn, sno-ball, and soda fountain featuring homemade syrup flavors. They hope to have a hundred varieties of popcorn available for sale by the end of the year, based on customer feedback; they plan to open soon with fifty.

Read the full article here:

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Internet Tax Bill in Jeopardy

Internet Tax Bill in Jeopardy


This is a follow-up to a couple of stories we published recently:

PRESS RELEASE — Associated Press by way of The Dispatch

JACKSON — The Mississippi House could be on track to reverse itself and eventually kill a proposed internet sales tax.

Jeff Smith (courtesy photo)

House Bill 480 passed the House on Wednesday, despite opposition from some Republicans who said they oppose any new taxes. The bill would enforce sales tax collections for items sold over the internet, and would earmark the money for road and bridge work.

The bill was put on hold for the possibility of more debate. On Thursday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, tried to remove that hold and send the bill to the Senate — but opponents blocked him.

The House has until Feb. 13 to reconsider the bill. If nothing happens by then, the bill will die.

The bill is an effort to formalize the collection of sales taxes from and others that sell goods to Mississippians from outside the state. It would set aside the internet sales tax collections to pay for road and bridge work, with 70 percent going to the state, 15 percent to counties and 15 percent to cities.

College Board researchers estimated in January that Mississippi was losing between $106 million and $123 million in sales tax revenue. Transportation officials say they need at least $500 million to prevent roads from deteriorating. However, many lawmakers refuse to raise fuel taxes, leaving road advocates searching for other revenue.

Original article here:

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MS House Considers Collecting Tax on Internet Sales to Prop Up Infrastructure

MS House Considers Collecting Tax on Internet Sales to Prop Up Infrastructure

Info Courtesy of The Associated Press


Mississippi’s House voted on Wednesday to enforce existing tax law regarding the collection of taxes on internet purchases made by Mississippi residents. Under this new proposal, the revenue collected will be earmarked for road and bridge work.  By a 79-38 vote, representatives passed House Bill 480, formally codifying efforts to collect taxes from and other vendors that sell goods to Mississippians from outside the state. 70%  will go to the state, 15% to counties, and 15 percent% to cities for the infrastructure improvements.

Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, emphasized that under current state law, consumers already are supposed to pay use taxes. However, officials have said enforcement on individual consumers is nearly impossible.  He emphasized that this is not a new tax, but rather, a way to collect taxes that people were supposed to have been paying all along, and to put them to good use.

Under the latest bill, retailers would be responsible for collecting the online sales taxes. Even without the law in place, Mississippi’s Department of Revenue has proposed rules to collect the taxes, and voluntarily agreed earlier to start collecting taxes Wednesday.

Please click here to read the full article.

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Black Friday Shopping Guide

cvb-logo-from-websiteBlack Friday Shopping Guide


A number of stores will be open today with special hours in order to accommodate anxious shoppers. Please be careful out there! Here are some things to look out for:


  • Heavy vehicle traffic. Be ready for long lines at stoplights and other drivers who may be a bit too anxious. Just be patient, and do your best to use alternate routes. Need to go clear across town? Try the I-82 instead of Main/182, or 7th St instead of Military or 45.
  • Parking. Our malls usually have plenty of room, but be prepared to wait, and watch out for aggressive drivers trying to find juuuust the right spot– especially at busier stores such as Wal-Mart. Be willing to park closer to the street and walk the extra 20 seconds from there – after all, you’ll be spending much more time than that inside! Keep an eagle eye out for the increased pedestrian traffic, too, and remember to ALWAYS yield to pedestrians!
  • Other people, both inside and outside of the stores. It’ll be busy! Be patient, be kind, and please understand that the other shoppers AND the store workers are just as anxious as you are to get out of there. Be nice to the workers, especially; they’re gonna be even more stressed out than you are!
  • Be ready for restaurants of all kinds to be packed full of weary shoppers. If a venue’s parking lot is full, chances are they have a line out the door, and that there will be a looooong wait to be seated. This goes double from around 11AM~1PM at many “sit-down” restaurants. Consider another places to grab a bite. Better yet, eat at home before you go, and have one less long line to deal with!
  • While some places have doorbuster sales, most of those sales – along with almost all of those items – are long gone now. Many of the specials you find today will reappear on Cyber Monday in a couple of days, especially for electronics.
  • No matter what you do, stay safe!
  • Consider avoiding all of this hassle altogether and simply shopping online at a store’s site, or a place such as
  • The Dispatch has been kind enough to research a list of local vendors  open for extended hours on Black Friday. Most will have sales going on:

 Ashley Homestore: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday

PetSmart: 7a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

GameStop: 5 a.m.- 9 p.m. Friday

It’s Fashion Metro: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

Burke’s Outlet: 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

RadioShack: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

Hobby Lobby: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

Cato: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

Cowboy Maloney’s: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday

Office Depot: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

T.J.Maxx: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday

Mattress Firm: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday

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Developer has Plans to Restore Historic Turn of the Century Hotels to their Original Look

Developer has Plans to Restore Historic Turn of the Century Hotels to their Original Look

On the corner of 5th Street South and 3rd Avenue South in Columbus lie a couple of hotels which once served the area well back in the early 1900’s. They have become other businesses over the past century, and have been owned by the Mackay family during most of that time. Recently, the Mackays, proprietors of Party and Paper, sold the properties to developers Tommy Howard and Chris Chain. The new owners have announced their plans to restore the former hotels to their turn-of-the-century glory. They’ve got their work cut out for them, but it is their hope that they will be able to pull it off, bringing back a long-forgotten piece of Columbus’ history to downtown. With luck, this will help to beautify the area even further, and bring in more tourists and fans of historical buildings to the area. And that’s Good for Business!

Courtesy of The Dispatch – COLUMBUS

At the end of the strip of downtown buildings on the west side of the 200 block of Fifth Street South are two buildings more than 100 years old. The buildings used to be the New Stone Hotel and the Arcade Hotel in the early 1900s, and also played host to retail spaces and apartments. The new owners, developers Tommy Howard and Chris Chain, would like to bring all of that back.

Susan Mackay of Party and Paper (photo courtesy The Dispatch)

Susan Mackay of Party and Paper (photo courtesy The Dispatch)

Susan Mackay said she and her brother Wayne Price sold the buildings because they felt the two developers would restore the buildings to their more original, early twentieth-century look. “I’m so pleased to have some people that are going to come in that have a beautiful vision to renovate the buildings and just make it a real showplace for Columbus and the state of Mississippi,” Susan said. “I’m just really excited for all the possibilities.”

Preparation for the renovations is already under way, which means cleanup on a large, but cautious, scale. Bathrooms in the buildings that haven’t been used since the ’60s still have claw-foot tubs, and crews found a torn, yellowed Commercial Dispatch newspaper featuring President Harry Truman on the front page in one of the old apartments. An old New Stone Hotel sign was found in the upstairs wall. It now leans against the wall of the old hotel lobby where you can still see railings around where the grand staircase once stood.

The developers plan to make a boutique hotel from a good portion of the usable space, once all is said and done; they also plan to use some of the space for apartments, and possibly some for retail space, such as a new restaurant, as well. “You’ve got to have vision,” Howard said. “If you saw this building, you’d have been like, ‘Really?’ … But you’ve got to see their potential.”

The renovations are expected to take many months to a year; Party and Paper will stay there for the time being, renting out space from the new owners.

Chain is the owner of Renovations of Mississippi Inc., which he started in 1996. A Columbus native, he said his interest in historical buildings was piqued in the ’70s when he worked as a tour guide in Columbus’s old homes. Now he owns eight downtown buildings in addition to the ones Mackay and Price sold him and has renovated buildings all over the state.

“This is a passion,” he said. “…Rebuilding Mississippi’s heritage.”


For more info and the full article, click here:

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Good Eats in Starkville to Help You Face the Day

wcbi-logo-wblack-box-smallCommodore Bob’s in Starkville does a thriving business dishing up fantastic grub at lunch and dinner, as well as a Sunday brunch for all comers. They serve plenty of locals, students, and tourists, so you’d better get there early or you might not find a seat! They and other restaurants help to keep Starkville fed and happy, and that’s Good for Business!

Today, their head chef demonstrates how to make an indulgent “grown-up’s ham & cheese sandwich” – the classic Croque Monsieur.

Commodore Bob’s Yacht Club is located at 102 Rue du Grand Fromage, Suites C & D, Starkville, MS 39759   –   (662) 268-8326

Courtesy of WCBI – Click the link below to view video:

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Tax Incentive Back on the Agenda for Wal-Mart in Northern Starkville

Tax Incentive Back on the Docket for Wal-Mart in Northern Starkville

A proposal to add a tax increment, which was shot down several months ago, will be back on the Agenda for the Starkville Board of Aldermen in a couple of weeks. The intention is to provide money to help set up proper infrastructure and other construction-related costs to allow a new Wal-Mart to be built on the North side of Starkville, which has gone without a convenient option for grocery shopping for decades. A number of elderly residents seem to welcome the idea of a new store, even if it means higher taxes – and, if it works, it could help to bring in other stores, as well…And That’s Good for Business!

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – starkville-story-wcbi-wm

A proposed Neighborhood Walmart store in Starkville will be back on the board of aldermen’s agenda when they meet again. If they approve the project, there would be a $1.3 million dollar tax increment to finance it.

A twenty-minute trip to the grocery store may not seem long, but resident June Carpenter says it is for most elderly. For 50 years, Carpenter has lived in Starkville, and has spent most of her time living on the northeastern side, where there hasn’t been a near by grocery for decades. She stated, “Really, I don’t like the idea of paying the TIF, but the problem is the city leaders have paid the TIF to have businesses on the west side of town, so now it’s time for them to equal it out, and pay the TIF to have stores on our side of town.”

Alderwoman Lisa Wynn says the town needs Walmart, more than Walmart needs Starkville. That’s why the city needs to prepare to provide some tax incentives: “The soil is not of good quality, it would have to be removed. We’re talking about construction of a street. The sewer would have to be developed in that area. Smaller businesses wouldn’t be able to afford that, and even if a developer were to come in and want to do it, I can assure you he will be asking us for TIF also.”

The project will be brought up again for discussion on November 15th.

Click here for more info and the full article:

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