Category Archives: Business

Local Boy Done Wood — News in the World of Food

20150424085747-58f2ab97Info courtesy of the Dispatch

Main Street to Get a New Kind of Furniture Store

Mississippi Steel Processing’s president, Chip Gerber, has been waiting a long time to open up a shop that showcases his passion. On Thursday, September 29th, he will get his wish. that will be the first operating day of his new shop, The Steel Forest Furniture Company at 515 Main Street. Gerber has been making hand-crafted furniture as a hobby out of Mississippi wood and steel for years, and now he’s had the opportunity to increase production of his custom pieces, and share them with his eager customers. Please come on out to show your support for this new type of store, run by a local hobbyist-turned-artisan!

 Under New Management: Cattleman’s Steak and Fish

One of Columbus’ best-known restaurants will re-open at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 29th. They are  located at 301 Tuscaloosa Road, and they will now be offering an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, in addition to their other fare. They will be open from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday with a lunch buffet.

 Avast, Matey! Krispy Kreme Shares the sweet Booty!

Monday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Krispy Kreme has continued its popular tradition of giving out free donuts to patrons who come in dressed as pirates, or who were at least talking like them, on that day. Store Manager Jessica Carpenter reports that they gave away more than 6,300 donuts to gleeful participants this year.

For more info, you can read the full article at the Dispatch: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=53022

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Video: Starkville Contemplating a WalMart Near Hwy 12

Video: Starkville Contemplating a WalMart Near Hwy 12

Courtesy of WCBI

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) –

The Mayor and Aldermen will take up a proposal on the Starkville Neighborhood Market Project on Tuesday, October 4th. The proposed site, east of Hwy 12, will cost about $14 million to set up, and will hopefully provide both jobs and a supermarket for students and other residents on the east side of town and nearby areas.

The project would be paid for through a tax increment financing plan.

Video: The Starkville Neighborhood Market Project

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The TVA Infinity Megasite is Online in Columbus!

The TVA Infinity Megasite is Online in Columbus!

Bill Johnson, President and CEO of the TVA (Tennesse Valley Authority) announced today that the Infinity Site is open and ready for a manufacturing business to move right in. Infinity is a TVA Megasite in the Columbus area; two others also exist as part of the industrial park off of Hwy 82, which houses Steel Dynamics and part of PACCAR. This is now the third such site in the Columbus area, and the eighth in the state of Mississippi.

Megasites are large (1000+ acres) industrial production sites designed to be everything a manufacturer could want, all set up and ready for them to move in and get down to business in short order: The buildings themselves, land and parking, infrastructure, and easy access to major transportation routes such as interstates and railways. On average, as many as three thousand jobs are created as part of a megasite’s creation and usage.

joe max higginsJohnson gave JoeMax Higgins, CEO of the GTR LINK, an award recognizing the hard work the LINK has done in order to facilitate speedy certification of the site – a process which can normally take a year and a half was done in half the time due to their efforts.

Mississippi is growing ever stronger, and word is spreading!

Colin Krieger of our own Good for Business was on had to record the announcement on video. 60 Minutes also had reporters on-hand to cover the story, as a testament to the ongoing improvements in economic development.

Link to our video here:  https://www.facebook.com/colin.krieger.92/videos/1131807593532839

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Old Train Depot Renovation Steams Ahead in Preparation for Shops and Apartments

Old Train Depot Renovation Steams Ahead in Preparation for Shops and Apartments

 

Courtesy of The Dispatch

After two years of hard work, California developer/preservationist Gayle Guynup has completed external renovations to the old Train Depot on Main near the W, and will soon begun work on the inside of the dilapidated 130-year-old structure. She stated that, among other major fixes, a new roof was put on the building, along with removal of a secondary structure. Guynup’s intention is to have a few apartments on the upper level, and commercial space on the ground floor; she hopes to have most of it leased out and occupied within nine months. “We would have loved to have had a single tenant that could have taken over the whole property,” she said.

Columbus contractor Gene Reid walks in front of the old depot on Main Street in Columbus Thursday. Finished with exterior renovations, Reid is soon to begin building apartments on the second floor of the historic structure. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

Columbus contractor Gene Reid walks in front of the old depot on Main Street in Columbus Thursday. Finished with exterior renovations, Reid is soon to begin building apartments on the second floor of the historic structure. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

Gene Reid Construction was responsible for the exterior fixes. “I think right now, we’re tentatively looking at four to five apartments, most likely four,” said Reid, adding once the permits are approved, the apartments should take six to nine months to complete. “What we’re probably going to do is build two small, efficiency-type apartments, plus two to three larger apartments.”

Please see the full article here: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=52147

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Golden Triangle Manufacturers Honored

Courtesy of WCBI

Golden Triangle, Mississippi

Southern Business and Development Magazine has released its 2016 Best of Economic Development in the South ratings.
The Golden Triangle was awarded top rankings in three categories, including excellence in aerospace and automotive manufacturing.

“This is the short-list for successful places for economic development and growth,” said Brenda Lathan, Senior VP of Economic Development at the Golden Triangle Development LINK. “The professionals that vote on these are the best of the best, and they know economic quality.”

SB&D is the only media property that covers economic development in the American South, the world’s fourth-largest economy. For more information, visit www.sb-d.com.

The Golden Triangle Development LINK is the regional economic development organization for Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.

For the full article, click here: http://www.wcbi.com/gtr-development-link-lands-major-awards/

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Local Girl Making Amazing Sweets — And Baking Good Business!

Got a sweet tooth? How about placing an order with a local entrepreneur who has an established business selling fresh, delicious cupcakes and brownies just a few weeks ago, and is already a big hit with the local community! Magnolia Cakes is a small business, but one with plenty of potential – the amazing part is, it’s run by a 13-year old Columbus high school student named Katelyn Lowe.

Courtesy of the Dispatch:

Katelyn Lowe, 13, of Columbus is selling homemade baked goods this summer. She plans to donate part of the proceeds to charity. Katelyn Lowe, 13, of Columbus is selling homemade baked goods this summer. She plans to donate part of the proceeds to charity. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Katelyn Lowe, 13, of Columbus is selling homemade baked goods this summer. She plans to donate part of the proceeds to charity. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Katelyn got her start making goodies for her family and friends, and word of her skills soon spread to her church family at Kolola Springs Baptist in Caledonia. Enough people wanted her baked goods that she was soon able to establish a small business to sell them and gain further reach. She credits her skill to her mother:

“My mom likes to cook a lot, and she makes these really good desserts that I love,” she said.

Lowe reports that she’s gotten over a dozen orders in just over a month, and word is spreading fast. While her mother helps her shop for baking supplies, the young teen pays for her own ingredients with her business’ revenue. Customers may order Lowe’s sweets in any amount, but she prices cupcakes at $18 per dozen, cupcakes with filling at $22 per dozen and brownie buttons at $10 a dozen. Lowe said she plans to donate a portion of her final profit this summer to Lowndes County Imagination Library and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Lowe created a business website, magnoliacakesbykatelyn.weebly.com, because she had no idea her business would grow so quickly. She hopes her website will allow customers to order online. She hopes to be able to continue filling orders once school starts, if her schedule allows.

Lowe is the daughter of Jeff and Melinda Lowe of Columbus.

Click here for the full article:

http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=51434

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GTR Early Workforce Initiative Produces 153 Students with National Credential

The Golden Triangle LINK’s Early Workforce Initiative program, now in its second year, has been a resounding success, helping to prepare GTR-area students for college and for future jobs by helping them to earn credentials based on scholarship via the ACT testing program. This helps to recognize students’ potential and desire for training in specific fields, so that their curricula may be tailored towards fields in which they are likely to excel – and, hopefully, truly enjoy! And that’s Good for Business…and our kids’ Education!

PRESS RELEASE – From GTR LINK

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Mississippi – Now in its second year of implementation, the Golden Triangle Early Workforce Initiative has seen positive improvement in WorkKeys testing among area high schools.

A total of 273 students took the test with 153 earning ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate. Last year, only 124 students took the test, with a little more than half receiving the credential.

“We’re thrilled with the numbers in our second year,” said Macaulay Whitaker, VP of Internal and External Affairs with the Golden Triangle Development LINK. “It shows how invested these schools are in providing real, meaningful opportunities for their students futures. Overall, we’ve facilitated 239 students earning a nationally recognized credential that will propel them into the workforce.”

According to EMCC, historical data indicates that the 66% of test takers in the Golden Triangle receive a Silver or higher score.

“We have already seen students benefit from this opportunity and enrolling in technical programs,” said Chrystal Newman. “This is setting them on a path to a successful career, providing them with direction before they graduate high school and the chance to get a head start on their future.”

The GTR Early Workforce Initiative (EWI) is part of an effort headed by the GTR LINK further provide workforce development efforts in the region. A committee representing all three counties and levels of development has been formed to continue to develop plans for the regional workforce to meet the demand of current and potential developments.

The EWI was provided to students through a subsidization from the Golden Triangle Development LINK Trust, a private investment group committed to the development of the region. Each high school was offered up to $5,000 to subsidize all testing fees for students. EMCC provided staff, training materials, on-site and in-hours testing as well as support for teachers and counselors guiding students through the process.

“We listened to feedback from our schools and community during the first year and committed that this test should be provided to students for free,” said Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the GTR LINK. “We hope that one day it will be given to all graduating seniors, just like the ACT.”

As defined by ACT WorkKeys, the test is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This test is commonly used in the Golden Triangle by employers to measure trainability, among other skill sets. Test takers that achieve a Silver or higher score on the test earn ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate.

For more information about the GTR Early Workforce Initiative, contact Macaulay Whitaker at mwhitaker@gtrlink.org or call 662.328.8369.

For more information about WorkKeys testing for high school students, contact the EMCC Workforce Services Team at 662-243-2686.

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Starkville Seeks to Revitalize Hwy 182 Corridor

A coalition of business consultants and local officials got together recently to discuss ways to help bring the Hwy 182 business district back to life by cleaning up and renovating unused storefronts, doing new construction and beautification. Many ideas were put forth, and research will be done between the final deadline at he end of September, allowing time for the citizenry to give their own input, in addition to the public commentary that has already been gathered. The proposed changes are intended to help encourage local entrepreneurs to operate in the area, and to get shoppers into those shops – and that’s Good for Business!

Courtesy of the Dispatch –

One specific proposal suggested taking the gas station at the corner of Highway 182 and Douglas L. Connor Drive and turning it into a restaurant, “Roosters,” inspired by a famous local fowl of days gone by. The proposed floorplan will keep the existing station’s (inoperative) gas pumps within the restaurant, and incorporate the existing structure, in order to help give it a unique look and feel. Other suggestions included a two-story, mixed-use building on another corner with retail space on the ground floor, and residential above. Outside funding will be sought.

“A limited vision is of limited value,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said. “We want to start with the idea of what the maximum potential of the area should be. It’s important not to hold anything back in stating our aspirations, and I believe the community did that this week . . . In setting a vision, you want a vision that inspires, and you also want a vision that has local buy-in,” Wiseman said. “The best way to build that vision is to have local stakeholders be the driving force behind the vision.”

Read the full version here: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=51115

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MS Main Street Honors Starkville Main Street

Courtesy of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the 27th Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Jackson on Thursday, June 16. A number of Starkville’s finest were honored at the luncheon, including Brian Jones of Thomas Shelton Jones & Associates, Mark Castleberry of The Mill, and Starkville Main Street itself (for the third time).

“I am so proud of the great work that business leaders, business and property owners, and our own community development organization are doing to protect, preserve, and revitalize Downtown Starkville. Downtowns are the heart and soul of any great community, and that is no different in Starkville. The individuals and projects that were honored this year have greatly contributed to the quality of life in the Starkville community, and I’m so grateful for the honor and recognition that has been bestowed upon them each,” said Jennifer Gregory, GSDP CEO and Starkville Main Street Manager.

Award recipients at the 2016 MS Main Street Award event (courtesy photo)

Award recipients at the 2016 MS Main Street Award event (courtesy photo)

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MSU’s iCreate Camp Gives Teens the Chance to Run a Business

Lauren Graham and Caroline Parker, seniors at Lamar School in Meridian, tell customers about their custom pieces at the iCreate pop-up shop at Mississippi State's Visual Arts Center on Saturday afternoon. The shop featured the work of students who attended an entrepreneurial camp at the university this week. Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

Lauren Graham and Caroline Parker, seniors at Lamar School in Meridian, tell customers about their custom pieces at the iCreate pop-up shop at Mississippi State’s Visual Arts Center on Saturday afternoon. The shop featured the work of students who attended an entrepreneurial camp at the university this week. Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

MSU recently played host to seven Mississippi students and one Georgia student, in their first-ever iCreate camp. The students learned about creating a new shop and put the theory into practice, and MSU hopes to continue the program’s success. This program, and others like it that could appear in the future, will prepare our young people for life beyond school, while giving them a solid grounding in the realities of working at and running a store. And that’s Good for Business!

Courtesy of the Dispatch

The students put together a business plan and set up a boutique jewelry store in six days.  The students also took time to visit established jewelry boutiques around Starkville and talk to business owners in the community. They also heard guest lecturers from the university. Friday they set up the store and Saturday they opened for business in the Visual Arts Center on University Drive. Within a couple of hours of opening their doors, they had made a little over $300. Prices were mostly in the $25-50 range.

“Just the simplest piece in the room can make any item of more value to the customer,” said Alex Ridge, a rising 10th grader from Pontotoc. “Marketing isn’t just selling things to the customer.”

Anmol Narang, a senior at Brookhaven Academy, sorts materials at the iCreate pop-up shop at Mississippi State's Visual Arts Center on Saturday afternoon. The shop featured the work of students who attended an entrepreneurial camp at the university this week. Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

Anmol Narang, a senior at Brookhaven Academy, sorts materials at the iCreate pop-up shop at Mississippi State’s Visual Arts Center on Saturday afternoon. The shop featured the work of students who attended an entrepreneurial camp at the university this week.
Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

Camp Coordinator Justin Hall credited the students for the camp’s success. Student-driven camps always depend on the dedication and strength of the students, and he had a really great group this year, he said. “It’s been a great experience I think, so far, for everybody.”

Read the full article here: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=50896

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