Business owners hope some controversial signs in Southport will attract plenty of visitor attention. According to the city, some businesses have their signs on state property, which according to North Carolina law is illegal. Many business owners, including Jeff Ward, have used the signs for years and don't understand why they're now a problem. “We're in the hardest economy that we've ever known, shop owners are going month to month whether they're going to keep their business or not and we need every bit of help that we can get from everybody.” City Planner Amy Nelson says the city is trying to find a way to rewrite a town ordinance to help the business owners. Nelson says the city is also working with the Department of Transportation to come up with an alternative, but the problem won't be solved quickly.
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