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southportsigns300.jpg Submitted by Tim Buckley on Tue, 03/16/2010 - 4:28pm.

Call it a sign of frustration. A lengthy city ordinance tells Southport businesses which signs they can or can not use. Business owners say without the signs they have no business. The ordinance puts special restrictions on a-frame or sandwich signs. They are not allowed to be placed on the sidewalk or in front of a store outside the business district. Owners say sign restrictions are necessary, but the code needs to be updated if businesses are to survive. "The tourists can't find me." said Penny Watkins, owner of Boo & Roo's Gift Store. "We've lost either five or six businesses since Christmas. I'm on a mission that not another business closes again. We need to support one another and work together. I do believe there's a compromise with the sign issue. There has to be." City leaders say the 40-page code exists to ensure Southport maintains its appearance and charm. The mayor has formed a task force of business owners and city leaders to revise the current ordinance. They will meet March 22 and 25 before presenting their proposed changes to the Board of Alderman on April 8.

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