Renovation & Resilience | Sunset Marina at 43Canton, MS
Like everyone else who owns a small business, Jeff Webb, was very concerned when Covid-19 hit and everyone had to shut down. Jeff owns the Sunset Marina at Hwy 43 outside of Canton, MS on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The marina was in the last phases of a much-needed makeover. When Jeff acquired the business, it had fallen into such disrepair that most of it was a safety hazard. The docks weren’t safe and many of the houseboats and old fishing camp trailers were abandoned and falling apart. It took a long time to get all the old abandoned fish camp trailers and houseboats hauled off – twice as long as he had hoped.
In order to bring his full vision to life, Jeff reached out to his local Mississippi Small Business Development Center. A friend recommended that he Mississippi Small Business Development Center at East Central Community College. After several meetings with the business counselor, he had a business plan and was ready to go to the bank. “My business counselor taught me a lot about commercial loans that I didn’t know. He was very helpful and saved me a lot of work and money.” said Jeff.
Armed with the commercial loan, the renovations went full steam ahead. The marina, now named Sunset Marina at Hwy 43 has brand new concrete pads and hook ups for campers, an updated on-site store and everything is safe and up to code for visitors.
Most of the renovations were complete and Jeff was expecting a busy summer for 2020 when the Covid-19 shutdown occured. He applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loans and an Economic Injury Disaster loan from his local bank that kept his business open during the pandemic. “The help it provided enabled us to not lay off or reduce pay for any of our employees. I’m happy to say we kept everyone working full time. It was a huge relief for a small business like ours,” said Jeff. Able to keep his staff working during the shutdown, all the remaining renovations were completed and summer of 2021 is on track to be the busiest yet.