Hancock Chamber recognized for helping start-up businesses

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Everyone knows small business is the back-bone of the nation's economy. The Hancock County Chamber is about to be recognized for a program it offers to entrepreneurs.

Chamber leaders are heading to Jackson Wednesday night, where they will receive the Community Economic Development Award from the Mississippi Economic Development Council on Thursday. The Chamber's Business Resource Center is helping local start-up businesses to succeed.

"It has a really good example of a business plan," said Chamber employee Sally Isaacs as she showed her client a book on how to start a business.

Her client, David Mayley, is re-launching the pest control business he sold shortly after hurricane Katrina.

"So we have a small track record of where we started and where we are today, so a marketing plan, a business plan to help us look toward the future," said Mayley.

When he made the decision to get back in business he joined the Hancock Chamber of Commerce again.

"When I had my first business the Chamber was just such a good partner for my business. Whether it was marketing, operations internal things that I needed to know."

He's now taking advantage of the Chamber's Business Resource Center.

"The first seminar I attended was marketing your business on the Internet, through Facebook a website that type of stuff, an area where I needed a lot of help."

A grant from the Economic Development Administration allowed the Hancock Chamber to open the center two years ago.

"As a result, we have been able to help over 350 entrepreneurs with technical assistance and access to capital," said Tish Williams, Executive Director of the Hancock Chamber.

Chamber leaders know that small business is vital to the economy.

"It's all about making sure that our businesses have the tools that they need to be able to get in business, expand their business and hire more workers," said Williams.

It's meant the world to Mayley's Pest Control.

"I would probably not be as nearly as far along as I am today. The Chamber has helped me move forward quicker," said Mayley.

For more information about the Business Resource Center contact the Hancock Chamber at 228-467-9048.

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