PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - If you haven't been to Perryville lately, you may want to make the trip.
City data shows dramatic growth over the past several years. From downtown to the industrial park, there's been a recent recent boom in business.
Many in town say it may only be the beginning.
"We exposed all of the brick. This is the original tile mosaic floor," Restaurant and Bar Owner Carisa Stark said. "Local artist Chance Thompson did our artwork back there."
Mary Jane Burgers and Brew is one of the newest businesses in downtown Perryville. Stark is proud of her business, being Perryville through and through.
"[We buy local beer from] Ste. Genevieve, local in St. Louis, Murphysboro," Stark said.
Stark says not only is Perryville home, but also the perfect place for her business.
"I just believe that it's a really great place to have small town loyalty and just bring something new to the area that's never been here before," Stark said.
As City Building Inspector Angie Fields says, Stark isn't the only one who thinks Perryville is a good place to be.
"This winter has been steady as far as people coming to apply for permits so the summer should be pretty busy," Fields said.
While new businesses come in, the ones already here, remain strong.
"Our industry is growing with TG and they're a great community partner," Executive Director of Perry County Economic Development Authority Scott Sattler said.
"Sometimes you forget those who brought you here, that made you who you are, like the TGs and the Gilster-Mary Lees and the Sabreliners and others," Patrick Naeger said.
Naeger is a local business owner and also the VP of the Perryville Development Cooperation. He says while the boom in businesses is great, as it happens the community faces challenges.
"I think one of our biggest challenges is housing. Getting the employees to live here," Naeger said.
That's why Naeger and other community members, along with the city are conducting a housing study to help that area of town grow too.
"There's a lot of things that we continually monitor to be a better climate," Naeger said.
Stark says, if you haven't been here in a while, Perryville just might surprise you … just like it did her when she came back home.
"I was gone for almost 17 years," Stark said. "Whenever I came back I was just so impressed with how beautiful the city had remained and become and looking at all the new businesses that have been popping up, and it's just, the comradery among the community just seems so strong."
Another thing both Stark and Naegar mentioned about the growth of Perryville is that the city leaders are always willing to collaborate and help make their businesses successful.