Author Archives: Colin Krieger

The GTR Just Keeps on Truckin’!

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

COLUMBUS, MS

Kyle McConnell, owner of local transit company McConnell Brothers Transfer and Storage, has retired and sold his business to his daughter, Suzy McConnell Robertson, and son-in-law, Chad Thomas. The Mayflower agency will continue its services uninterrupted, offering moving services and storage for residents, future residents, and businesses of all sizes. Thomas remarked that they “look forward to continuing to provide excellent service in North Mississippi, West Alabama, our local communities and our military members worldwide.” They’re currently looking into expanding their warehousing and freight capacities.

New Hope’s Double S Diesel Service opened for business in October. They offer on-site services for diesel semis, farm equipment, forklifts, and the like. They are available 247, and the shop is owned by Owners Spence Wallingford and Blake Moore.

STARKVILLE, MS

Lee’s Creative Studio is planning to open up shop at a physical location in February; Owner Lee Allen reports that he is doing business remotely for clients in need of quality commercials. While the business is just getting off the ground, he’s already started working on a job for the local Mom & Pop food truck.

Cyber-security provider HORNE Cyber has taken over the former GLO building on East Lampkin St. Office Partner Mike Skinner says that they’re been around for five years and moved to the new digs in order to accommodate their growing business. Their office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=85116

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New Places to Shop & Eat in the GTR

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

COLUMBUS

Recently-retired teacher Stephanie Studdard will soon be opening a women’s boutique, Bella Blu, at 427 Wilkins Wise Road: “I decided teachers never retire,” Studdard said. “I decided that I wanted to do something that I enjoyed–that just came to mind.” The shop will carry items such as clothing, jewelry, and so on for high school girls and women. Bella Blu will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Brandy Granderson, who has worked in physical therapy and as an in-home healthcare professional, recently opened Essential Safety Consultants in Columbus. Her service’s goal is to help seniors to help improve their homes in order to minimize the risk of potentially dangerous falls: “Our target is to prevent falls with seniors,” Granderson said. “What we do is go out and perform a 125-point safety check. It’s a survey where we go into great detail of things they can do to eliminate risk factors in the home. We go out and consult with them about modifications they can make to try and prevent falls.” She can be reached at 662-346-1253; please call for a quote.

STARKVILLE

AJ’s Get it & Go BBQ at 28 Box End Road W. opened up to feed plenty of hungry people earlier this year. The family-owned restaurant offers carry-out and delivery service as well as outdoor dining. Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

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https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=84456

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Good Eatin’ and More!

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

STARKVILLE

Boardtown Pizza and Pints has officially opened its doors at 705 University Drive, Suite C this past Monday. They serve a variety of items such as pizza, hummus, falafel, pita moz, dog bowl nachos (yes, in a dog bowl), and over thirty beers on tap. “It feels great,” owner Tyler Klaas said. “The nerves are still up there because we don’t know what’s going to happen. … We’re really hoping that the people that live here will come out and support us.” They will be holding a Grand Opening on Friday, Nov 13. The venue is open from 11AM ~ 11PM daily.

Two restaurants are in the planning stages. Captain D’s on Hwy 12, which burned down a few months ago, will be moving to the old Payless Shoes building at 812 Hwy 12. Sonic, which is next door to the old D’s, plans to use their combined lots to build a new facility.

COLUMBUS

Cobalt’s Boutique and Little Magnolia Co. will be moving into the former Steel Forest Furniture location on 5th Street S.

Meanwhile, Prestige Event Rentals moved from Second Street to 530 Hwy. 45 S. around a month ago or so. The new location is over triple the size of their prior store, and was made possible due to an uptick in business.

Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=84323

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Local Businesses Expanding, Opening, and More!

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

COLUMBUS

Local family-owned company Union Climate Control Storage, 106 Yorkville Road E., has announced that they will soon be expanding their storage options, with units being made available for RVs, boats, and trailers. They plan to have them ready in about a month or so. “All of this was in the plan,” owner Andrew Benton said. “We have plans to purchase more properties but have nothing official yet. We have other residential rental places, but this is a pretty solid business. We like it a lot.”

Southern Kneads, 1920 Hwy. 45 N., Suite 5, has opened their doors. Licensed massage therapist Markey Wright-Dillard runs the operation, and is currently taking appointments (no walk-ins for now) for 30- and 90- minute therapeutic massages. The company also offers ear candling and exfoliating body scrubs. “As a licensed massage therapist I always wanted to eventually own my own little place and offer products and services to my clients,” Wright-Dillard said. “My clients’ well-being is my No. 1 priority and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for Southern Kneads LLC.”

Malco on 45 is offering private screenings of both classic and contemporary movies. For $100, you can bring a reasonable crowd to see “Star Wars: ESB”, Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and others. $150 gets you the same deal for a group to see more recent flicks such as “Tenet” or “The Kid Detective.” Please check their Malco website to view the full list of films available via this program.

WEST POINT

Kimberly Chase and Kathy Williams are taking over the Just for Ladies consignment shop over the next few weeks following the original owner’s retirement: “Of course we jumped at the chance to move from customers to owners,” Chase said. “Kathy and I have been best friends for over 30 years and have always dreamed of opening a consignment store. Raising families, we both understand the need a consignment store can fill in our community. Anita passing the torch to us is Heaven sent. We get to fulfill our dream while continuing hers.”

They plan to keep the place mostly as-is, including the embroidery services the shop offers. One notable change will be the name: Point City Consignment will be at 5761 Hwy. 45 Alt. S starting in early November. Their grand opening will be on Nov. 6 from 4-7 p.m. Their regular store hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=84062

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New Life Soon to Be Breathed into Old Buildings

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


COLUMBUS

Realtor Caroline Bromley reports that the former downtown Fred’s building is under contract. While the potential buyer has not yet been announced, it is hoped that a deal can be reached by the end of the year. The prospective buyer says that they want to renovate the Fred’s building in hopes of restoring it to how it looked a century ago, when it hosted Harden’s Bakery: “They have great plans for it,” Bromley said. “It’s going to be a plus for the community. . .The downtown area is a historic area and the new buyer is looking to keep it historically correct.”


Meanwhile, Listing Agent Royce Hudspeth reports that the old Ryan’s restaurant building on Hwy 45 is in a similar situation, and that it is “under contract and in due diligence.”

STARKVILLE

MUW alumnus Hannah Baird has formally opened up her food trailer, Nutrigroove, in the Little Dooey parking lot at the corner of Fellowship and Lampkin streets. They offer items such as acai fruit bowls, smoothies, herbal teas and bagels: “When I was there sitting on the beach I just knew I wanted to do this,” Baird said. “… I wanted to bring acai to Starkville so everyone else can enjoy it the same way I did. I just love it and so far everyone else does too.” Mon~Thurs from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fri~Sat from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=83666

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TVA Awards GTR an Industry Certification

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Per the GTR LINK, the Golden Triangle region was recently recognized as a “Rural Certified Community” by the TVA. This is an award granted in honor of the area’s long-term advances in favor of industrial development and investment.

GTR LINK COO Macaulay Whitaker
– Courtesy Photo

“Programs like these from TVA help us gather important critiques for our community, make improvements and market successfully to potential investment from employers,” LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said in the press release.

LINK COO Whitaker remarked that the GTR is exceeding expectations, and that a number of potential new industries are eyeing sites in the area.


Please click here for the original article:
https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=83613

Courtesy photo: GTR LINK COO Macaulay Whitaker

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Airline Business Prospects Expected to Soar to New Heights

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


GTRA Executive Director Mike Hainsey recently addressed the GTRA Board, discussing some hopefully bright news regarding the future of the airport. He foresees an increase in commercial air travel for both business and for pleasure in the next few years: “The air transportation system has been pummeled, so they are going to be doing things differently as they recover,” he said. “They’re going to be looking at markets where there is economic growth. The economic growth here has been huge. The airlines are aware of that. . . The rebound here will be faster than the nation as a whole,” he went on to say. “As far as facilities, you have everything you need for probably 20 years. Overall, you are in better shape than most places in the country.”

Mike Hainsey, GTRA Exec Dir – courtesy photo


He went on to say, that, due to increasing demand for passenger flights, Delta plans to begin using larger, higher-capacity jets in the near future. Also, they are working on adding Westbound flights to the roster.


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https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=83570

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Navistar Defense Adding 500 Jobs, Investing in West Point Facility

WEST POINT, MS – Courtesy of the GTR LINK

Military vehicle manufacturer Navistar Defense, LLC has announced that they will be expanding their facilities and their business operations in West Point, where they have had a local presence since 2005. As part of this project, they will be adding five hundred local, full-time jobs by 2024. Navistar is headquartered in Illinois.

“Job creation is critical to building strong economies throughout Mississippi. The addition of 500 new jobs at Navistar Defense’s facility in West Point is reflective of Mississippi’s outstanding capacity and workforce talent within the defense industry,” said MDA Interim Executive Director John Rounsaville. “We appreciate the collaboration between MDA, the Golden Triangle Development LINK, Clay County, the city of West Point and TVA, which has proven invaluable as we’ve worked to bring this project to fruition.”

They are currently accepting applications for these positions. Please click the link below for more information, as well as how to apply:

https://gtrlink.org/news/article/213

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Get Your Hair Done and Grab a Snack

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

STARKVILLE, MS

Magnolia Hair Studio at 102 S. Lafayette St., recently opened its doors. Owner Sarah Dempsey, a veteran stylist, recently moved back to Starkville from Laurel: “We missed the Starkville atmosphere and moved back to raise our two kids,” Dempsey said. “I came full circle opening my own salon back off Main Street.” Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Popcorn shop The Pop Porium, 119 E. Main St., is reopening next Wednesday, having been temporarily shuttered due to the Coronavirus.

COLUMBUS, MS

Matt Bogue of Dutch Oil in front of Leigh Mall reports that they are working on repairing the structure in order to try and get it back into shape: “It had giant holes and leaking roof, so we pulled the rotting roof out and stripped the inside,” Bogue said. “We also dug up the big fuel tanks that have out-serviced for years. That’s really all we’ve done. It’s not part of any major, master plan. It’s simply trying to get it back into decent shape because it has fallen into such disrepair.”

Everything old is new again, which means progress for our local entrepreneurs — and THAT’S Good for Business!

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https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=82923

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Bookworms, Rejoice!

The Book Mart & Cafe (and Bully shop, an MSU merch store) on Main Street in Starkville has partnered with the recently-created Thrive Strategy and Consulting, one of whose founders is a Starkville native. While in-person business has been down, the collaborators have been working on ways to expand Book Mart’s online presence, so as to allow people to browse their wares from anywhere they please. Book Mart owner Carolyn Abadie remarked that “People are coming in and buying things…It’s just a lot different.”


The Book Mart & Cafe (and Bully shop, an MSU merch store) on Main Street in Starkville has partnered with the recently-created Thrive Strategy and Consulting, one of whose founders is a Starkville native. While in-person business has been down, the collaborators have been working on ways to expand Book Mart’s online presence, so as to allow people to browse their wares from anywhere they please. Book Mart owner Carolyn Abadie remarked that “People are coming in and buying things. .It’s just a lot different.”

Photo: From left, Carolyn Abadie, the owner of Book Mart & Cafe, and Hannah Jian discuss the details of creating an online platform for Book Mart & Cafe to sell books on Friday in Starkville.
Claire Hassler, Dispatch Staff


“We have resources,” Hannah Jian of Thrive said. “We have expertise that we think can actually translate to real help for small businesses in our communities.” The two ladies met up in June to discuss ways to move forward, and they had a solid plan in place in a short time. “Starkville’s close to [Hannah’s] heart,” Abadie said. “She’s wanting to help the town where she lives. It means more when it comes from somebody who grew up here.” They are currently working on setting up an online storefront for the stores.


Currently an on-hiatus Emory University student, Jian had already been working with groups in Atlanta to help local companies shift their focus from their normal products to ones which are needed now — e.g. a clothing company wanted to transition to mostly making facemasks, and a robotics startup wants to help companies looking to implement warehouse automation. Jian and four Emory classmates, all from different cities, are working as a unit to benefit business owners in their respective hometowns. She has also worked with Starkville’s own Glo, which is now a multi-national concern. Jian is working on spreading the word about Thrive so that the pro-bono company can help as many local businesses as they can.
“Having people such as Hannah pitch in and offer that assistance is vital for the local economy,” Partnership CEO Mike Tagert said. “The fact that she is from Starkville, certainly that helps small business owners understand that she has a feel for the community and the town…Any additional ways that our small business owners have to interact with their customer base is more important than ever,” he went on to say. “They have to be diverse. They have to have secondary and tertiary ways of selling their products.”


As Emory will be going full-digital/remote learning for the Fall semester, Jian will be staying in Starkville for now, working directly with local entrepreneurs: “We aren’t going to be able to return to normal for a long time,” Jian said. “Businesses are still going to be feeling the impacts of the pandemic on the economy for a long time after now.”

Please click here for the original article:

https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=82413


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