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
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)
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
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
We all want our kids to succeed in life. One way to help insure this is to get them started early. Northeast Mississippi’s own CREATE is planning to give 8th graders the chance to get a serious head-start to help them answer the immortal question: “What WILL you be when you grow up?” … And that’s Good for Business!
Info courtesy of the Dispatch (Op-Ed):
Mike Clayborne, president of the CREATE Foundation, says eighth grade is a good time to start thinking about one’s future career path. CREATE, a community development organization for 17 counties in northeast Mississippi, will hold a career expo for thousands of eighth-graders in October at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo.
It is often difficult for young students to see the correlation between what they are being taught in school and how those lessons are applied in the working world. When students understand the practical applications of what they’re exposed to in the classroom, they are far more likely to embrace their studies. As the modern workplace becomes more specialized, with workers being required to have specific, advanced skills, it is important young students begin to prepare themselves at an early age.
CREATE is asking for community support to ensure the success of the expo. Private citizens or organizations can sponsor students or serve as volunteers, while area businesses and industry can participate as exhibitors.
To learn more about the career expo or to volunteer or sponsor a student, contact Albine Bennett at CREATE at 662-844-8989 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about the CREATE Foundation at their website, here: http://createfoundation.com/
You can read the full article and find more info at this link: http://www.cdispatch.com/opinions/article.asp?aid=50800
Many teens take up summer jobs in order to earn some cash, get exposure to handling their own finances for the first time, and to learn to take orders (in more ways than one!). Many more, however, either do not – or, in today’s economy, cannot. One could quite reasonably argue that kids having jobs is good for the area, good for the kids, and good for the future of the local workforce, because of how it expands the number of people who are familiar with how work really works. And that’s Good for Business!
OP-ED courtesy of the Dispatch –
While we don’t begrudge students a break from their academic work, we believe there is much to say for using the summer to gain experience for the real world of work they will soon enter once their school days have ended. This is not simply conjecture. A 2013 Brookings Institute study found that finding a job as an adult is harder for those who did not work during their teen years. The study also found that kids who worked in high school earned wages that were 10 to 15 percent higher after graduating from college.
While education prepares young people for a life of work, there is no substitute for personal experience. These are fundamental lessons: Showing up on time, being prepared, taking direction, meeting goals, working with others, solving problems and any number of other experiences a person typically encounters during the work day.
We encourage all teens to actively pursue work this summer. We also implore businesses to make room for those young people. It benefits the business and the community. We want our young people to be well prepared for the adult world. That’s why we send them to school, after all.
As has been said, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. So, too, is a summer.
Read the full article here: http://www.cdispatch.com/opinions/article.asp?aid=50742
The CVB, Columbus Air Force Base, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city are proud to present their annual Fireworks on the Water program on Friday, July 1 from 5-10 PM on the East bank of the Stennis Lock & Dam (the fireworks will be visible from the West side, as well). Come on out to enjoy the celebration, food, live entertainment, kids’ activities, and stay for the brilliant light show in the sky!
Courtesy of the Dispatch —
CVB XD Nancy Carpenter
Events like this help people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and just have fun as a community. “It’s not just a community event,” CVB Executive Director Nancy Carpenter said. “It’s one that the entire region comes out to enjoy.”
The event will feature jumpers, face painting and other activities for children, along with glow sticks for purchase. The fireworks display should start about 9 p.m.
Carpenter said CVB is asking that people don’t bring their own coolers or pets.
“The initial reason behind it was the Visit Columbus Board of Directors wanted to do something special for the men and women at Columbus Air Force Base,” she said. “There’s no better time than our Independence Day to do that. This is a way we can say thank you by doing something special for them and their families.”
Small businesses that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to get in on MS Department of Transportation contracts are getting their opportunities expanded – and that’s good for business!
Courtesy of WTVA
MDOT recently held a free “Meet the Primes Contractors ” event Wednesday at Itawamba Community College in Belden, just outside of Tupelo. The purpose of the networking gathering was to attract small businesses of all types, in order to help increase the pools of contractors available for MDOT jobs, and to help grant access to small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses.
” It’s extremely important because a number of the companies that were represent here today are relative small and do not have the opportunity to bid as prime contractors or to bid on some of the larger MDOT jobs so one of a few ways in which they can get MDOT jobs or MDOT work is to works as a subcontractor for larger contractors. ” said Project Administrator Larry Davis.
Read the full article here: http://www.wtva.com/news/Networking_Event_Helps_Minority_Women-Owned_and_Small_Businesses_Connect_with_Prime_Contractors.html
14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. John Nichols speaks during the Base Community Council’s first meeting Thursday. Nichols reported that the base’s economic impact for 2015 was approximately $249 million. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
$250 Billion — Economic Impact of CAFB on Local Area
The USAF’s air base here in Columbus employs a good 2,800 servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians, all of whom live here, eat here, shop here, and party here. All of that means money coming into the city to keep it thriving. And that’s Good for Business!
Courtesy of The Dispatch
14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. John Nichols addressed the CAFB’s Columbus Club recently, speaking of the base’s performance in the last year or so. As part of this, he said that the base brought $249.6 million into the local economy, up from about $241 million the prior year. Most of that money is in the form of payroll dollars to the 2,800 USAF personnel and civilian employees on-base, who then proceed to spend much of their money locally:
“That paycheck supports their families,” Nichols said. “They buy cars here in Columbus. They go out to eat. They spend money. That money is infused right back into the local economy, so it makes a big difference.”
He went on to say that indirect local job creation added another $32 million to that number:”So if Buffalo Wild Wings has to add another server because so many airmen are down there, that’s the indirect job effect,” he said.Nichols will complete his current two-year Tour of Duty in July, at which time he will return to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport. He expressed his sentiment about the reassignment: “It’s going to be tough to leave,” Nichols said. “We’ve met so many great people.”
He also stated that Chief Master Sgt. Rita Felton, the base’s Command Chief Master, is leaving in October. “It means there’s going to be a lot of change, but what I can assure you of is this place won’t miss a beat,” Nichols said. “It will be like nothing happened. I promise. That’s how we do things in the military.”
Read the full article at the link: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=50336
Brandon Presley and the PSC Seek to Expand Internet and Power Options for Citizens
Courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch –
Brandon Presley, who is currently in his third term as Northern District Commission and his first term as Mississippi’s Public Service Commission Chairman, recently spoke to the Columbus Rotary Club at Lion Hills Center. He is advocating better ways to get utilities to the people of Mississippi — especially in rural areas, which often lack access to basic resources such as natural gas, despite the fact that our state has more gas pipeline than almost any other state:
“We have 10,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in Mississippi, the fifth most of any state,” Presley said. “Yet, for many rural areas, there is no access to natural gas, which happens to be, right now, one of the cheapest energy sources available . . . So extending natural gas service in those rural areas is very important, especially to poor folks . . . And if we can give people access to natural gas, they may be able to cut their power bill by 30-40 percent. That’s no small thing . . . It’s not about being against any one kind of power,” he said. “It’s about giving people access to what’s available. The way I see it, everything the Governor has access to in the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson is something every person in the state of Mississippi should have access to.”
PSC Commisioner Brandon Presley makes his case to a Rotary Club member. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
He continued to say that the PSC also wishes to encourage developing alternate sources of power, including solar power and natural gas.
He also spoke of high-speed internet, something which he considers to be a basic utility in this modern day and age – and hence, something everyone should have ready access to for a reasonable rate: “High-speed Internet is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Presley. “No matter where they live, the people of Mississippi have a right to have high-speed Internet. It’s not about Facebook or whatever else you might enjoy doing on the Internet. It’s about access to services and in the world we live in now, not having access to high-speed Internet service means not having access to critical services . . . It’s a quality of life issue. It’s an education issue,” he added.
Improving access to utilities will help all of the people of Mississippi to improve their quality of life, by saving them money and granting them ready access to the tools they need to compete. And that’s Good for Business!
Click the link for the full article: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=50275