Small Business Development
Providing educational resources to help Mississippians develop and sustain small businesses is part of the work of every MSU Extension program area. Helping other Extension professionals develop and deliver those resources is a focus of the GCD.
The GCD staff works through local Extension offices to provide assistance to Mississippi’s counties and municipalities to improve components that are essential for industrial and retail business recruitment, retention, and expansion. The GCD also provides counseling, training, and assistance to start-up and existing small businesses and works with regional planning and development district offices (PDDs), the Mississippi Development Authority, the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics, and other MSU departments to identify and promote potential areas of growth and opportunity in local communities.
A GCD program in direct contact with aspiring small business owners is a workshop on the essentials for starting a small business. In one session, the workshop provides basic information on how to start a small business, from the idea phase to actually opening the business. The 1-hour workshop is designed for business entrepreneurs who have little or no prior business experience and is presented in an informal, interactive classroom environment. It is free to attend and open to the general public.
The workshop covers topics such as how to evaluate a potential retail market; determining startup costs, including having sufficient working capital and applicable licenses and permits; development of a simple business plan with cash flow projections; business financing including conventional loans and SBA guaranty loans; legal business structures; and insurance/risk management.
GCD’s Hamp Beatty presents the workshop each second Thursday at the Golden Triangle WIN Job Center in Lowndes County and at other locations statewide on request.