MULLINS, SC (WMBF) – Although there are signs the economy is improving in Marion County, it is still No. 2 in the state for the number of people out of work.
Several new stores are now open on Main Street in Mullins and leaders at the Chamber of Commerce said more are set to open soon.
That is why many are hopeful new businesses will mean more people coming downtown to spend money.
The Second Blessing and Dollar Shop on Main Street has been a staple in Marion County for years. Kate Jacobs says she has seen some differences in the economy and is hopeful for the future.
"We have the Chinese place here, that brings customers into me during lunch time," said Jacobs. "That means money is floating out there."
The Greater Mullins Chamber of Commerce said in all, six new businesses are going to call Mullins home, which is good for a small town. They also said another company, which they can't go into details about, will bring another 20 jobs.
Many say more still needs to be done to bring jobs and improve education in the area. But they are hopeful of the positive signs they are seeing.
"There's a lot of families that can't even afford the little things for their children, the clothing stores, everybody's donating we're trying to help out as much as possible," said Allison Hasbrouck. "We have a positive outlook at best we can. We're just hopeful for the future."
Marion County's unemployment rate was at 18.9 percent in April which was down 1.7 percent from the month of March. Marlboro County was number one in the state at 19.5 percent, down 2 percent from the previous month.