‘Lots of passion in the room’

Published 6:25 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

The Jeff Davis County Economic Development District held a Strategic Planning, Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship Workshop June 29, Rosenwald School Building at Prentiss Institute.

The goal of the workshop was to equip local businesses, entrepreneurs and stakeholders with essential skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Mississippi Power Community Development Representative Joy Saucier and Entergy Community Development Representative Chris Hinton were the leaders of the workshop.

Email newsletter signup

“This was the first collaboration between Mississippi Power and Entergy’s community development managers to facilitate a workshop like this,” said JDC EDD Director Gary Bass.

“They helped a diverse group of people across the county that are interested in learning how to be a part of the solution in JDC.”

The two guided the group through identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to moving JDC forward. “In doing so, they were able to provide information on an individual basis to entrepreneurs and small business owners and allowed us to create a strategic plan for community collaboration,” added Bass. 

The group also received motivation and information on sourcing funding and best practices.

“We are both in the business of helping our communities be stronger and work better together so they can grow in the way they want to grow,” said Joy Saucier. The group was very participating according to Saucier. “Lots of passion in the room, lots of great ideas and many connections were made.”

“We just wanted to get a group of business leaders together in the community to talk about what some of the issues are,” said Chris Hinton. “Then, we wanted to create a collective vision for the future of the county.”

Bass was grateful to have the two there to facilitate the meeting and said he couldn’t have asked for more support from them.  “Most people don’t realize that utility companies are heavily involved in community and workforce development. It’s not just keeping the power on.”

Newly elected Economic Development Board President Kevin Hughes was also at the workshop. “I feel very privileged to be elected to the board and I look forward to working with Gary for a better Jefferson Davis County,” said Hughes.