HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Competition is growing in Hattiesburg with two new restaurants coming to the area.
Business Development Director Todd Jackson with the Area Development Partnership said the two burger joints will diversify the area's restaurant and retail offerings.
"We are the second largest retail sector in the state of Mississippi, which is a very impressive stat for a city the size of Hattiesburg," Jackson said."We are also ranked nationally 24th in the nation in restaurant growth."
Both restaurants are located near the Southern Miss campus. Jackson said food services near an institution with more than 14 thousand students will help in economic growth.
"It's going to be a great opportunity to offer their service and products to the college environment which we think will just further enhance midtown's appeal," Jackson said.
Many local residents said the new restaurants will positively impact the area.
"Gives a lot of students like me good job opportunities and its probably going to be good food too," said Southern Miss student Holly Sturdivant.
"Like its making more competition, I feel," said Wing Stop employee Gen Charla Echols."But we're still going to beat them. Because it's Wing Stop and it's wings and you can get a variety of flavors."
Some residents are worried about the traffic the new restaurants will bring.
"I think it's going to cause a lot of congestion," Hattiesburg resident Lindsey James said. "We already have a lot of burger places around and I don't think we need extra."
Jackson said the area, particularly off Highway 98, will see nothing but growth in the future.
"We can complain about traffic, but at the end of the day we're blessed in to live in a community where there's always growth and always new things coming," Jackson said.
The two restaurants will open later this summer.