SuperTalk Mississippi

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes weighs economic options

Image courtesy of the City of Gulfport

With the infiltration of COVID-19 along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gulfport mayor Billy Hewes is weighing his options on when and how to reopen the coastal economy.

“We’re concerned still for the economy, for the public health, and how you find that balance,” Hewes said on Thursday’s episode of The Gallo Show. “The economic considerations are weighing on everybody, money is running out, and idle people have too much time on their hands.”

According to Hewes, 20 percent of Mississippians who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus comes from the coastal region, and he is worried that a second wave of the pandemic may drastically increase that number.

“The concern that we have is if we relax too soon or too early, I’m told historically that previous pandemics come in waves, and often the second wave is more deadly than the first,” Hewes said.

Economically, this is a tough place to be in for Hewes and company as the Mississippi Gulf Coast accounts for over a third of the state’s tourism.

The accomplished mayor understands the severity of the situation but is ready to start putting an economic plan in place.

“It’s going to be slow, and I think there’s a lot of uncertainty, but we really need to start laying hands on what that [plan] may look like,” Hewes said.

To listen to Hewes’ full interview, check out the video below.

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