Economy

Pawnshops boom in Biloxi

Jewelry is a popular item at Edgewater Pawn, in Biloxi, with multiple display cases showing off various different types.
Jewelry is a popular item at Edgewater Pawn, in Biloxi, with multiple display cases showing off various different types. Amanda McCoy / Biloxi Sun-Herald

With three decades in the business, the Pawn Shop Queen of Biloxi has learned to roll with the flow. And the flow has been in her favor these days.

“I’ve seen people from all social levels and income levels come in to the shop,” said Mary Eaves, who owns Edgewater Pawn and Biloxi Pawn, both on Pass Road. “They’re just having a cash shortage at the moment.”

Rising unemployment rates and a tanking economy are good news for pawn brokers.

The Department of Banking and Consumer Finance in Jackson has issued licenses for 33 pawn shops in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties this year. The total in the state is 228, said Deputy Commissioner Theresa Brady.

That’s a slow decline from 2001 when there were nearly 300 statewide, she said.

Kevin Riley, who owns Dad’s Super Pawn in Pascagoula and Gulfport with his brother Mark, said pawn shops have vastly improved their respectability as a legitimate financial institution for those needing a little help between paychecks.

“Loan amounts are up,” he said. “There are more people borrowing money on bigger items, boats, campers, larger diamonds and Rolexes.”

Read the complete story at sunherald.com

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