Small Town Revitalization Project

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Bad economic times mean bad news for any city, especially for small towns with few resources like Malone, but there may be hope ahead from some new efforts to boost a Jackson County town's economy.

Somewhere between Marianna and Dothan, the city of Malone struggles to stay afloat.

"Malone actually needs the businesses here because like I said, it's about to be a ghost town," says long-time resident Freddie Lee Jones.

Freddie Jones is hoping his son's newly-expanded business will do well and maybe help bring in new stores to Malone's downtown area.

James Miller's hardware store and Malone's last remaining gas station are among a handful of businesses that seem to be doing well. There is no question Malone can use an economic boost. Malone's mayor and those involved with the city's revitalization project say the boost may be coming soon.

"Unfortunately, this is what you see in small town America: a lot of empty buildings and we have quite a few here in downtown Malone, and right now we're negotiating with Subway to come to town and this is one of the building they're looking at,” says Gene Wright, Malone Mayor

Mayor Gene Wright says the city's revitalization project of five months is paying off. Besides the possible restaurant chain, the city is in talks with several hospitals to reopen its medical clinic.

Other big retailers also seem interested in the city's steady stream of traffic. Jackson County economic development leaders are spearheading Malone's revitalization efforts.


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