Minority-owned businesses receive more than $16,000 in grant funding

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation partnered with Mississippi Power.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 7:15 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Connecting with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation is how some small, minority-owned businesses received the Shine a Light Grant.

The chamber partnered with Mississippi Power to award businesses $1,000 in assistance.

Tori Bishop and Kerri Paul co-own Gulf Coast Mom. Paul also owns Brick and Spoon.

“I appreciate the representation to be able to show other young, black people that they can also own a business someday, that they can achieve their dreams,” said Paul.

Paul said juggling two businesses at once is already difficult, but she says her skin color adds to it as well.

“Locating resources and finding information can often time be a challenge, especially for people of color,” said Paul

Executive Director of the Mississippi Power Foundation Steven Dick said he appreciates entrepreneurs looking at the organization as a dependable resource.

“Small business in general drives the economy, but helping minority, small businesses that may not be able to have the availability of capital. Anything we can do to help those businesses to help raise all the businesses up that we can to improve the economy on the coast,” said Dick.

Bishop said confidence and self-worth are the first steps to success.

“You have to believe in yourself first before anybody else will believe in you, it starts with you. If you don’t have a good foundation when you’re going out to a market where people are called on 20-30 times a day, you have to walk in with that confidence to stand out and believe in yourself to get that person to believe in you,” said Bishop.

Paul encourages folks to shoot for their dreams.

She said you must to drop your fears and do your homework on your industry.

“Go out and ready, study, hire consultants. Do whatever it is that you need to do to make your business better and get your business out there.”

16 local businesses were awarded with the grant money.

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