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Interest by Starbucks proof of thriving Vicksburg economy

A good, strong cup of coffee, whether it comes from a pot brewed at home or from one of Vicksburg’s local shops, is a morning kick-start many have to have each day.

For some, it is a simple cup of coffee, black with no sugar, and for others, the morning must start with a latte, cappuccino, espresso or other specialty drink offered by a talented barista.

Either way, it’s the caffeine many need to ignite their day and spark their creativity.

For those who visit one of the three coffee shops in town, it is also the personalities of those who work there, the special touches and the smiling faces that add to the whole experience.

That is why the news Tuesday of Starbucks coming increasingly closer to opening a location in Vicksburg brought such an emotional reaction.

While rumors swirled about the likelihood of the international coffee shop coming to Vicksburg for months, it was Mayor George Flaggs Jr.’s public acknowledgment of the company’s investment in Warren County during a Sept. 5 public hearing that added a double-shot to the news brew.

Add to those comments a site plan filed in February and permits filed by contractors and you have all the makings for a confirmable story.

On social media, there were some who were excited about the news, while others proclaimed their commitment to local coffee shops and support of businesses owned by those who live and work in Warren County.

We completely understand. Many in our office are loyal to a locally-owned coffee shop and will continue to be once Starbucks arrives. Our marketing staff works with many small businesses on a day-to-day basis and are committed to their success. Our hope is the additional competition will strengthen the marketplace, as opposed to hurting locally owned businesses that are already operating within it.

Unlike the news of a Walmart-type business coming to town and offering a large inventory and slashed prices, Starbucks coffee is expensive and apologetically so. Our home-owned coffee shops will have every opportunity to take on this coffee giant and continue to thrive.

Starbucks being so close to finalizing its move to Vicksburg is a positive reflection on the state of our local economy. Starbucks is no fool. They do not spend money just to spend it.

Just like other major retailers and eateries, Starbucks does research to ensure investment in new locations will have a positive return for owners and investors.

The fact that Starbucks is interested and progressing in opening a Vicksburg location shows our economy is strong and improving. Starbucks’ entry into the marketplace will be an indicator to other retailers and eateries that Vicksburg is a place they too can come and open up shop.

In fact, according to information released by Flaggs during the public hearing, the proposed Starbucks project is just part of more than $143 million in new construction already underway or planned for Vicksburg. Some of those projects include a new Popeye’s location on Clay Street, a new hotel being constructed on Berryman Road, a planned Family Dollar location on U.S. 61 South and more.

This newspaper company has a long history of solidly supporting local businesses. That’s without question. We particularly appreciate those who understand the importance of marketing locally and do business with us.

Vicksburg is on the right track and the investment by Starbucks and others is proof of that. All of us should welcome the competition and look forward to greater choices in the marketplace.