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August 2018
The Enterprise of Mississippi Newsletter
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Have you missed this Newsletter?
You haven't missed the June or July newsletter, we've just been slow to send. So with school starting back this week, we are starting back with our monthly newsletter. This newsletter is jam packed and catching you up on what The Enterprise has been working on over the past few months. 

This newsletter you will find feature stories highlighting our professional firms in the region and small businesses. Emma Moffett, a MSU communications intern for The Enterprise this spring, wrote multiple stories about the individuals who have found success growing their business locally. The Enterprise is home to multiple professional service businesses started by locals ranging from engineering, architecture, accounting and more. These businesses not only employ a large number of individuals but provide support to local industry.

Warmest regards,
Lara Bowman
ARC EmPOWER Grant Submitted

The Enterprise partnered with the eligible counties of Kemper and Winston to submit a $1,000,000 workforce grant to obtain ARC POWER funds to address workforce development needs in the counties who have seen a decrease in employment from coal related jobs. If these funds are awarded, equipment will be purchased and housed at the local career and tech centers to support the training needs of existing industrial employers, along with training high school students for the local workforce and allow Holmes Community College to offer workforce development courses to the public. A basic manufacturing safety class (25 hours) will be offered locally to prepare job applicants to work in a manufacturing environment. In addition, through this grant the National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT Workkeys) will be offered to all graduating high school students for the next three years to prepare them to enter the workforce. 

Belinda Stewart: Restoring Small-Town Mississippi
Feature Story by Emma Moffett 

Bursts of crimson and golden light filled the skyline of the serene countryside in the Mississippi Delta. The light cast a glow across the grassy field and provided a few moments of illumination before dipping beneath the horizon.
The sun may have been setting, but Belinda Stewart was still hard at work. With a keen eye, she analyzed every facet of her environment and attentively watched how the light rose and fell upon the hillside. The rest of the world saw empty space, but she envisioned it as a home that would be nestled atop the grassy hillside. 


The family who hired her firm wanted to experience that breathtaking sunset every day, and Stewart intended to go above and beyond to fulfill their dream. While Stewart could have taken her architectural genius anywhere in the nation, she chose to house her business, Belinda Stewart Architects, in Eupora, Mississippi, because of her belief in the power of small towns to inspire social change.

Continue reading HERE.

Counties Participating in Aspire Program
Leadership teams from Choctaw and Webster participated in session 2 of the Mississippi Development Authority's Aspire program. This session took the teams through a project mapping workshop where the teams considered their strengths and areas they could contribute toward improving economic gains, asset gains or community member gains. Choctaw County chose to focus on economic gains to increase business revenue in the town of Ackerman with the project Track On Over to Ackerman. Webster County chose to focus on community member gains by providing high school students with improved job and work training skills with their project YES (Youth Empowerment Skills). 
Michael Kolb from Webster County presents their team project at Session 2.
The Enterprise presents at TVA Economic Development Showcase
On June June 15, in Nashville, Tennessee, Lara Bowman presented at the TVA Economic Development Showcase. The purpose of the Showcase was to allow community Economic Development representatives to share about their communities to multiple team members of the TVA Economic Development staff. This year The Enterprise
was asked to share more than just their target industries and product development. TVA asked communities to specifically share about workforce and community livability assets because these assets are quickly becoming key competitive advantages in winning projects. As economic development continues to evolve, the need to understand a community’s labor market is more important than ever. For this year's presentation, The Enterprise was asked to tell their workforce story. A recording of the presentation Bowman gave at the Showcase is available HERE. Communities were awarded based off of the information presented at the Showcase. The Enterprise received the highest monetary award for their efforts in successfully telling their workforce story. 
MDA Site Development Grant Awarded
The Eupora Industrial Park received a $15,000 Mississippi Development Authority Ready Site Grant from the Site Development Grant Program. The grant will be used to complete the required due diligence at the Eupora Industrial Park. The grant required matching funds which the City of Eupora committed to providing. The grant will help to provide a Phase I, Geotechnical Survey, Cultural Resources Assessment and Wetlands delineation for the Eupora Industrial Park. 
Corporate Visits
Through the generous support of community partners The Enterprise of Mississippi was able to make corporate headquarter visits this summer. The purpose of the visits were to thank company leadership for their commitment in Choctaw and Webster counties, discuss retention and expansion opportunities along with workforce development initiatives of the The Enterprise. 

        


Business Booms in Small-Town Mississippi

Feature Story by Emma Moffett 

Amid the humidity of Mississippi in July, hundreds of shoppers and tourists gather in French Camp. Located next to the Natchez Trace is Barlow Blue, a boutique that despite its quaint appearance draws hundreds of shoppers to its annual, “Christmas in July,” sale.

Owner Tonya Barlow never imagined her business would evolve from being housed out of her back-bedroom to the 1,400 square foot building she currently works out of. However, after 17 years of hard work, Barlow has made a name for herself not only in Mississippi but also all over the world.

Barlow is one of many business owners who proves it is not only possible but also profitable to build a business in small-town Mississippi.

Continue Reading HERE.

Bowman Graduates from Community Development Institute
Lara Bowman, Executive Director of The Enterprise of Mississippi, was among 43 individuals who were awarded graduation certificates during the 32nd annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas on August 3, 2018. Bowman completed all three years of the Institute's program of study making her eligible to test for the Professional Community & Economic Developer (PCED) certification. 

CDI trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnership with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues. 

Bowman would like to thank The Enterprise Board of Trustees for allowing her to attend CDI and the Mississippi Economic Development Council for generously providing scholarships for all three years to cover the cost of tuition for the program. 
Support The Enterprise of Mississippi
The Enterprise is seeking external funding and kicking off the 2018-2019 fundraising campaign. We will focus this year on making improvements to existing industrial property and buildings along with implementing workforce development programs. All while continuing to market and build relationships to increase knowledge of The Enterprise to external partners. Your support is needed to continue to build off the success of the last year. 

If you would like to become a Supporter of The Enterprise please view our Levels of Support for 2018-2019. Contact Lara Bowman at 769-610-1795 or l.bowman@theenterprisems.com to learn more.


Thank you to the partners below for their support of The Enteprise in 2018-2019.

Platinum Level Supporter of The Enterprise:

Mississippi Lignite Mining Company 

Silver Level Supporters of The Enterprise 

For highlights and more of what we are sharing throughout the month follow us at:
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Copyright © 2016 The Enterprise of Mississippi, All rights reserved. 
Partner of The Enterprise representing Choctaw and Webster Counties 

Our mailing address is: 
The Enterprise of Mississippi
P.O. Box 327
EuporaMS  39744
 
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Lara Bowman · P.O. Box 327 · 855 S Dunn Street · Eupora, MS 39744 · USA

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