JDC Chamber Partnership brings help to county for small business entrepreneurs

Published 1:39 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Standing:  Jerleen White, Darren Daniels, Beverly Dale, Natalie Guess and Ben Hamby. Seated:  Victoria Peters, Amy Fletcher, Robert Harris, Jonithan Hatcher, Vickie Rivers and Andy Collins.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Standing:  Jerleen White, Darren Daniels, Beverly Dale, Natalie Guess and Ben Hamby. Seated:  Victoria Peters, Amy Fletcher, Robert Harris, Jonithan Hatcher, Vickie Rivers and Andy Collins.

JDC Economic Director Ben Hamby welcomed a large crowd of attendees of chamber investors and potential business owners to a networking session as an introduction to Jeff Davis County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development services, provided to help small businesses start, grow and become successful. The event was held Sept. 9th at the Prentiss Institute Rosenwald Building and the object of the meeting was to help local business owners to better market and network their business and educate them on the available grants or low interest loans available.

Keynote speaker Beverly Dale, retired from an innovative pharmaceutical company based in California, is presently on the Board of Directors Foundation of USM and instrumental in establishing the Alvin J. Williams Endowed Professorship in Minority Entrepreneurship.

Dale stated Mississippi would play a major role in racial reconciliation and economic and social development in the future. She stated entrepreneurship is about taking chances in order to go forward. Her major tip was to develop a business plan explaining specific ideas and work that plan. She also explained there were others with JDC roots including Alvin Williams and General Buff Blount who are very interested in collaborating to help JDC businesses succeed and recommended the book, Mississippi Entrepreneurs to find others who have been groundbreaking Mississippians.

A team of experts was on hand to answer questions in a panel forum. Panel members from SBA, Magnolia Business Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, Accounting, South Mississippi Planning & Development District and Social Media answered questions from attendees on business and financial concerns.

Questions to the panel included areas of their expertise from existing business owners and those interested in beginning a business both nonprofit and profit. The importance of liability insurance for small businesses was discussed with recommended resources and corporate structuring to protect personal assets.

Representatives from some Resource partners were also present including Hope Credit Union, MS Farmers Network, Southern Pine Power Association and Mississippi Power Association.

Light refreshments were served while business and attendees had a chance to meet one-on-one with executives to receive business counseling in areas of concern.